Cycling conundrums

Cycling produces many conundrums. For instance, should I use my touring and heavy Ridgeback Panorama or the svelte super light Scott Addict 10? When pushing up a climb should you use that false flat at the top for recovery or use it to push on the get back the speed lost on the ascent?

I chose the winter protected Panorama even though I was confident that the weather would be good. I had clear blue skis and some frost when I left and headed straight for Titch Hill as I needed a climb as soon as possible to get my heart pounding and the blood flowing in order to warm up my freezing fingers.

I was soon faced with another conundrum. On rounding the last corner before Shaves Wood Lane I saw two cyclists heading north, my direction. Should I continue at my pace or chase them down. Chase, of course! I put the hammer down but didn’t seem to be closing the gap. On the flats I was holding 40kph but still not closing. I soon realised that they must be climbing quicker, much quicker than me. Another decision should I give up as I am gently easing back into some sort of fitness or should I try harder. My body may need an gentler start but cycling is more than just a physical endeavour. It also requires mental strength. I made an even greater effort and by the time we got to the B2116 Henfield Rd I had them a short sprint away.

Just my luck, at the T junction another rider sped by and quite naturally my two targets chased him down. The urge to give up was overwhelming but I had worked so hard it seemed a waste to stop. It took some time and a lot of determination but I eventually caught them but not before they had reeled in and dropped the rider that they were chasing. Locked onto their wheels I should have been able to begin my recovery. However, unlike last autumn when I would only need a few seconds to recharge, following these guys nothing seemed to happen and I was wondering if I would ever get my breath and legs back.

I was then faced with another cycling conundrum. Should I just sit in and wheel suck my way back home or should I take a turn at the front. I spent most of 2013 pulling at the front even if I was out of my class but this is 2014 and I am starting all over again. I finally made the most stupid decision of the day. I took a turn at the front just at the wrong moment. As I over took, the road dropped away and suddenly I was doing 39kph. I couldn’t remember what we were doing on the flat and ended up burying myself until I literally disintegrated. I was used to this feeling but, what was different today was that I watched them ride off and I drifted further back with no hope of catching up.

I am pleased to say that whilst I have lost all of the strength and power of recovery that I enjoyed last year I still had the urge not to give up. Once into Partridge Green I was again back onto their wheels. I assume that they must have eased up for me.

We headed back via the Bostal and aside from that beastly climb I was quite comfortable riding with these courteous and social riders (members of Brighton Mitre). I even managed to ride on the front for a few turns. Thanks guys for letting me tag along even though it brought home to me just how much fitness I have lost since my operation. Of course riding a 13 kgs bike gives me an excuse but I an not going to hide behind that one!

Here’s the ride – no records broken here!!! Thanks to my Garmin Edge 510 I can ride without a plan knowing that lovely wife Janet can follow me with Garmin’s Live Tracker. Check it out on the Garmin link.

About questadventure

Old git cyclist (road, gravel, commuter and mountain bike rider and racer), skier, snowboarder, once a windsurfer, husband, father, bike shop owner, fitness fanatic, cook, linguist.
This entry was posted in Road rides, Touring bikes, Training, Winter rides and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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