domingo, 11 de septiembre de 2022

"Proper, steady K2 ride to Henley"

Well, this was my (rather short) career as road captain finished.

For some time I have been in the search of what type of cyclist I am. Now that it is clear that I’m not a sprinter (a climber was always out of the question). 

Last few months I was convinced that I was a Road Captain. Even if some of my “riding mates” (I won’t name and shame, you know who you are) were very fast highlighting the many reasons why I was not a good Road Captain. What do they know?!? 

That was until today. I’m not in search of a cycling personality. Road Captain is out of the question. Let me give you the details.

I posted in the Kingston Wheelers forum a club ride for today. 128km, 837m of climbing. Short and flat ( “Proper, steady K2 ride to Henley”. That’s how it started.

How did it go? Look, even before we started to ride it was decided we were not stopping at Henley. We were going to stop at Twyford instead. That was my leadership destroyed before the first pedal stroke. 

I still felt optimistic. 8 riders showed up. That is way more popular than when any of my “riding mates” propose club rides. A clear endorsement to my Road Captain skills.

I even surprised everyone with a first long turn at the front. Long enough to be worthy of outloud praise by one of my “riding mates”. To be fair it was probably the longest turn I have done in my whole cycling career.

But that was it. As soon as I moved from the front the “Proper, steady K2” description of the pace failed to be accurate. And that is a very polite way of putting it. 

I don’t take any responsibility though. It was clearly not my fault. It was everyone else’s fault. They were all very strong riders. You see that collection of PRs? You can be sure it was my merit.

My leadership was clearly questioned but I still found comfort in the fact that I was mastering the navigation asped of the road captainship. I even suggested a detour to avoid a big queue of cars. Not everything was lost.

A shame that a few kilometers later, at Walton-on Thames, I saw the group turning left when the route was going straight. I shouted and shouted but no one listened, or cared. It turns out that was another detour to avoid a couple of traffic lights. 

By then even the most optimistic Javier was convinced that the Road Captain career had come to an end. Time to improvise. Quickly.

So I fell back to being a sprinter. It was genius. The final sprint was approaching. It is a sprint where almost no one knows where the line is. I avoided the front like the plague and got ready to celebrate my comeback as a sprinter.

The problem was that Ed, a pure climber, and Rupert, a very dangerous competitor, got away and managed to get a decent gap. A big and scary gap. 

The group caught Rupert (some excuses about cramping were heard) but Ed, a pure climber, ended up taking the final sprint. 

It was clearly not my fault. It was everyone else’s fault. Ed and Rupert’s attack was a bit cheeky, the rest of the group was stuck in traffic. Dani did a monster turn at the front but didn’t manage to close the gap to Ed, even if he was riding super strong all day, a clear example of energy misuse. The rest of the group didn’t contribute to the chase, had they contributed we would have caught him before we got stopped by a red traffic light. 

I repeat. Ed, a pure climber, ended up taking the final sprint.

Not a road captain. Losing a sprint to Ed. Time to retire from cycling. 

Looking at how well I took responsibility for what happened during the ride I decided I have a better future as a politician.

Vote for me. You’ll be disappointed.

The ride in Strava:

Take care

Javier Arias González 

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