The chase

Parking outside the coffee shop

My phone is ringing but I’m still asleep. I hit ‘reject’ thinking it’s the snooze button. The caller is persistence and my phone rings again. I hit ‘reject’ a second time. It’s light in our bedroom so I know it is late and I remember that I’m meant to be meeting my friends at 6:45am for a bike ride.

I wonder what the time is – it’s 6:50am. I figure I’m already late and our meeting point was 1.5km from home. I roll over to go back to sleep but then my phone beeps to tell me that I’ve received a text message. It’s Ange asking whether I’m still coming. I look at my partner next to me. She is in a similar state of half-waking. I tell her I don’t feel like riding because I’m late anyway. She says that I should just enjoy the morning sleeping in. So I start to close my eyes again, enjoying the luxury of being home with my partner. I respond to Ange admitting that I slept in.

Ange texts back at 7:01am to tell me that I should chase them down because they’ve just left on the ride. Guilt wins out so I jump out of bed and race around getting dressed to go. I waste a lot of time trying to find my cycling jersey, which seems to be missing. And time is valuable when you are chasing other cyclists down.

It’s 7:08am when I run out of the house, throw on my cycling shoes and head out on my bike. It’s 1.5km to the shops where my friends started their ride. So if they had really not left until 7:01am I’ve given my friends a head start of about 5km (it turns out they were already 5km down the road when Ange texted me at 7:01am so they actually had a 7.5km head start).

I hit the tri bars and power down the road. I only move my arms off the tri bars when I lower myself onto the drop bars through corners and to climb up hills. I keep expecting to see my friends off in the distance every time I reach the top of a hill. I ride hard, not slowing for anything – not even resting downhill where I streamline my body and spin the pedals hard. I don’t even take in the scenery this morning, preferring the chase.

I arrive at the coffee shop near the end of our ride and see my friends milling around the carpark, their bikes lined up on the bike racks. They tell me I had only missed them by 5 minutes. I definitely earned my hot chocolate and pizza bread this morning after riding 21.6km at an average speed of 33.5kph.

After our coffee break I cruise the 6km home at just 23kph, chatting with my friend Jayne.

I enjoyed the hit out. It was fun to have someone to chase.

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4 responses to “The chase

  1. Now THAT’S the way to get a good session in! 😀

  2. Haha great work Andrew, I love how you say “I cruise the 6km home at just 23kph”, I wish I could just “cruise” at that speed! LOL! Hope you enjoyed the hot chocolate and pizza bread! – Simone 🙂

    • You will be amazed what a difference a racing bike makes. You’ll have less rolling resistance and find you get a big increase in speed with less effort.

      Oh and I’m a cheat. I’ve been a cyclist all my life. I did my first 60km bike ride on my 10th birthday along the same roads where I now train. I took time off cycling from November 2009 to July 2011 because I lost my confidence after almost dying from heat exhaustion (actually almost dying not just feeling hot). So it was a big thing for me to get back on two wheels this year but you never lose the technique and the fitness / speed come back quite quickly.

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