Saturday, 3 July 2010

What would Bertie do?

I've had a quiet(ish) week this week, with only two rides so far.

Wednesday afternoons ride was hard (possibly not helped by the very hot sun)! We went on a new route - a ride I've so far avoided due to some long steep climbs.  It didn't surprise me that the biggest hill beat me (I blame the heat though - it was unbearable). But I am happy to say that it didn't completely beat me, there was no need to get off and push; I just needed to stop half way to catch my breath and have a drink.

Thursday's downpour put a stop to any thoughts of riding, so another rest day, leaving me fresh for Friday's ride to meet Mikey from work.  I'd planned on doing an extra few miles before making my way into Penzance, but on the way out of the village I bumped into a neighbour and a quick hello turned into 15 mins of gossip, so I lost my extra 15 mins and had to ride like the wind to get to Penzance on time. Unfortunately riding like the wind was tricky as I was heading straight into a strong headwind. Progress was slow and I was unable to get much faster than 9mph along the coast path.  Usually, I'm early so have time to sit and watch the boats bobbing in the harbour, but as I arrived I could see Mikey heading towards me. No chance for a breather today. 

Homeward bound and the wind was with us. Weeeee! This was more like it, the wind meant we were riding faster than usual. This was fun!  Just over a quarter of the way home and there was a tinkle of a bell from behind us. VeloCaker John, was on our tail.  (As always I suddenly felt like the odd one out as the pair of them were in their VC kit - hurry up Endura, I want my jersey!).

Even when we'd changed direction and the wind was no longer with us, the pace continued to be fast. Eek! Ah well, John normally turns off before we get to the Hill out of Marazion so I'd be able to catch my breath before we set up it.  Oh! Today he was coming up the hill with us.  Could I do it? Could I really get myself all the way up through Marazion without stopping? Its a heck of a hill; the climb starts gradually and then suddenly gets quite steep, then back to a gradual climb, another steep bit and then a real draggy slow climb.  There's practically nowhere for an unfit cyclist like myself to catch their breath without having to stop for a minute.  But I couldn't stop (and embarrass myself) in front of John.  We started up the first steep bit, still riding faster than I normally would.  My legs started to burn. No! I can't stop! I asked myself "What would Alberto Contador do?" We got to the top of the first steep bit and somehow I was managing to hold on to Johns wheel. I'd made it through the worst! But my legs wanted a break. No! I wont stop - that would just be plain embarrassing. 

Surprisingly, half way up John decided to turn off (he was on his MTB and planned to do some off-road miles).  When he had left us, I was SO tempted to stop, I looked ahead of me, there was still a long gradual climb. I stopped pedalling  momentarily before screaming (in my head), WHAT WOULD BERTIE DO? I carried on, at a slower 10mph. My legs were burning, I just wanted to stop my legs spinning for a moment. No! I could do this, the hardest bit was over. This climb paled in comparison.  We were now only 200metres from the top and then I could freewheel down into the village. My legs were very grateful for the recovery time, but my head knew that it was short lived and there was still the final hill in the village up to our house. 

It suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't stopped at all on this journey, apart from the one minute stop in Penzance, I couldn't stop now. I pushed on. We were now near our house, there was just the short off-road climb up our lane to the garage to do. I could do this. DAMN! There were two kids stood in the middle of the narrow lane, blocking my way. I slammed on my brakes and tried to swerve around, but at the same time they changed their position to move out of our way and inadvertently blocked my way for the 2nd time. Cursing under my breath I gave in, my legs were empty, there was no shame in walking the last few yards to the garage door.

Anyway, I'd done it, so thanks Alberto. You helped me beat the hill. Now it's your turn. Win!


SS:Mtn Biker said...

Oh how I LOVE to read your words about your rides! They make me feel as if I'm there,riding along,or at least acting the part of a fly on the wall (gnat obn the handlebars?) =)

Sounds like a great time you had,and huge kudos for pushing on! You knew you could,and you did!

I suppose you and I will be watching TV together today...the TOUR'S BEGUN =D I'm anxious to see the duel between Lance and Albetro,myself! Should be great. I am also a fan of each,so no matter which one wins,I'm thrilled =)

Have a great weekend,my friend!


trio said...

Brilliant post!