The Group Crash

purity of speed

Part of my summer lovin’ transition back to cycling is the Tuesday Night World Championships.

Baptism by fire. Speed and wobbly wheels. No crashes, fortunately, but a few close calls. I’m on the rivet the whole time, sucking wind, legs burning, heart pounding. I can follow wheels, but that 30% extra when I go to the front puts me over the edge.

Tonight, I got called out for skipping pulls in the break by some punk-ass kid: “I know you masters and how wily you can be.”

Yeah, I’m saving it up for the sprint.

Really, I’m just trying to stay on the fast train for as long as possible and get some training effect. Because trying to do this in a real race is just money wasted. I used to be able to ride away from a group like that. I could have popped them, one by one.  And I would have enjoyed it, too.

The savvy, energy-conserving style of riding only came when my fitness had left. Before that, I was a gentleman. I didn’t skip pulls. I didn’t let gaps open up. I did my fair share and then some.  And I spent a lot of energy doing so. And got worked over by riders who were more clever than I because of it.

Had I know how to ride like that when I was at the top of the sport, I would have won a lot more races.


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