A.K.A - A very fast commute.
As usual my Monday ride was to meet Michael from work. I was running late so we decided to meet in Long Rock. I did a loop around the village to warm up my legs and then set off down the by-pass. I usually enjoy going at speed on this road - as it's obviously a fast road, but it also has the advantage of being a slight downwards slope. Yesterday however, as I was running later than usual, I pedalled even harder and pushed myself well over 20mph along it. The wind was against me (of course) but it didn't deter me. I was late and on a mission!
When I got to Long Rock I was surprised to find I was there before Mikey - not that I minded waiting, as it gave me chance to catch my breath. Oops... no such luck, here he was, along with his colleague and co-VeloCake-founder, John.
John's a powerhouse of a rider; he's fast with a big diesel engine. He commutes 30miles every day and spends his days off doing ridiculously long rides - 600k audaxs for fun!
No pressure then. ;-) Thankfully the wind was now with me so I could at least pretend I wasn't useless. I led them out of Long Rock at about 17mph. Now it was Michael's turn on the front.... up the hill through Marazion. This hill used to kill me - it starts slow but then rears up in a wall of a climb before going into a long steady climb with no respite - I used to have to stop at least once, but recently it hasn't caused me any problems. Trouble is, Mikey was still doing a fast pace up the steepest bit (much faster than my usual) and before I got halfway up I was broke. I couldn't stop though, not with John on my tail, but I was now struggling and slowing significantly.
John then took the lead when suddenly my elastic snapped.... I was left floundering as a huge gap in between me and them appeared. Ouch! I hadn't felt this much pain in my legs for a long time. My chest was burning. I felt sick! Mikey dropped back and gave me a few cheeky pushes to keep me going up the hill as I gave it my all to try and catch John back up. With John practically coming to a standstill we finally caught him as we entered our village. I'm not sure how the heck I mustered up any energy to do the final climb back up to our house... the only thing that kept going through my head was "What would [my hero] Bertie do?" I tell ya, that little Spaniard (no matter what your opinion is of him) has done great wonders for my cycling as I embrace my inner Contador as I try to dance on my pedals and climb climb climb!
I got home shattered but ecstatic - I guess it was the adrenaline - I haven't pushed myself that hard for a long time. My usual overall average speed is somewhere between 11-12mph for that ride, but amazingly it was 13.5mph on my return home.