Going out the back

I was out on the bike at 8:40am today and went to join a cycling club training run with the London Dynamo club in Richmond Park. I got shelled out the back of the intermediate group after a lap and a bit, then the slow/seniors group came past me and I just couldn’t kick myself back into action to stay with them.

So I finished the second lap then went and sat in the cafe for 20 minutes with a coffee and flapjack before I met up with another couple of guys who are doing the folly that is the Etape as well. I got back at 1:30pm after another three or four laps with them which were more to my liking. I’m now a bit knackered and need a lie down. I hurt a bit and keep on getting cramp attacks just behind the knee of my right leg.

I usually get passed by the groups when I’m out as they fly past. It’s not that they’re going much faster, just they are keeping the same even pace and working in a group is easier. I think I’ll try and go out with them again at some point once I’ve got a few more miles under my belt, or just start in the slower group instead and keep a moderate gear while sticking in the middle of the bunch. My mistake was probably to hang on the back of the group rather than nearerr the front so, when the pace went up, there was nowhere for me to go other than out of the back.

It’s a start though. By contrast I get a bit out of breath if I even attempt to jog from here to my mate’s place, which is only round the corner, about 300 metres at most.

One thing I was reminded of as I struggled round is that what I do love is, when I’m in the mountains in summer, spotting a cyclist carving their lonesome way up the side of some monstrous climb. There is something deeply heroic and almost perfect about watching a man and machine working together like that against an immovable object and then overcoming it by force of will and through their own power.

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