Day Seventy: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It was going through my mind on my road ride yesterday.  I was cycling along the coast with a strong tailwind.  I could have let the wind push me along and not put much effort in, content to have the assistance and ride along at my usual training pace.  But I didn’t.  Instead I started to work hard so that with the help of the strong tail-wind I was rushing along at between forty two and forty five kilometres per hour.  I was listening to Snow Patrol on my iPod, enjoying the new album.

As I whizzed past a cyclist that was ahead of me I judged him to be of the ‘get out once in a blue moon variety’ and paid him little attention. He was riding a blue bike, that was about all I could gather as I tore past him. A couple of minutes later I noticed that he had latched onto my rear wheel.  No words were spoken.  I put my head down and carried on at the same speed – I figured he was just going to sit there.  Either that or he would sit there until I began to show signs of tiring before zooming past.  That of course would be rather uncool.

I decided to make him work hard if he was going to have a free-ride and gradually wound up the pace, pressing on whenever I hit a slight incline, keeping it spinning in a 53×15.  It was starting to hurt.  We were flying along at 48kmh and I was now turning a 53×14 pretty rapidly.  We hit some traffic and he shot out into the adjoinging  lane and drew parallel.  He never looked across at me but I had a good look at him.  He was wearing some pretty dated cycling gear but looked pretty smooth on his nice blue Orbea.

When the traffic disappeared I surged ahead and he resumed his place behind me.  What to do? It was obvious that he didn’t want to do any work and was happy to sit behind me.  I decided to ignore him and trust in my ability to respond if he decided to zoom past.  I’d keep a pace that was hurting me but one that I could maintain for twenty or thirty minutes without exploding all over the road.

The wind increased and the speed crept up.  Finally after about twenty minutes I snuck a peak over my shoulder to see if the other guy was there but the road was empty.  I have no idea when he dropped back and felt a twinge of guilt at having ripped it up the road.  Having said that I didn’t invite him and perhaps he should have pulled up alongside and said hello or something.

Mr. Blue Orbea Man, if you’re reading this, no hard feelings. I was on a mission yesterday.  I blame Snow Patrol’s latest album.  You cannot ride slowly listening to it.  And by the way Mr. Blue Orbea Man, you are fitter than you look.  Respect.

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