Day Ninety Four: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

For a moment I thought the driver of the little Daihatsu Matiz was gesticulating at me, he had the swivel-eyed look of a mad man, one that would happily jump out of his car, tear the wind-shield wipers off it and beat you to death with them. I held my line, ready to take evasive action if he pulled over ahead of me. He did not.

As his car struggled to accelerate away from me on the steep gradient I noticed that it was a rental car. I imagined that he was frustrated at being in a tiny little car with no power for he was banging his hands on the steering wheel, willing the car onwards.

Several years ago I rented a car that was so slow I actually stopped to make sure the handbrake was not dragging. I got out of the car, put the car in neutral and with the handbrake off, tried to push it. It rolled along the road with almost no effort. In fact pushing it was almost as fast as driving it. I smiled as I continued up the climb.

Earlier on I had felt a bit like the guy in his rental car. I was trying to ride quickly up a long, hot climb but nothing was happening. I stood up, then sat down, I changed gears up and down the block but to no avail. It felt like I was glued to the road. After a while I gave up trying to smash myself to bits on the ascent and pretended to be touring. I eased off and looked out across the valley, enjoying the view. A huge blanket of wild flowers lay across the hillside. The sky was a picture postcard blue and Mr. Grumpy in his rental car was long gone. I was alone on my bike and that was good. It was peacefull. Tranquil you might say.

The fact that my velocity was roughly that of continental drift did not matter. Sometimes you have to just relax and accept it and today was going to be one of those days. Having taken 2 months off the bike, and then jumped back into training it was hardly surprising that I would be creeping along the road like this. I reminded myself that form takes time and that one has to go through days like these before regaining lost  form.

I decided to plan out my weeks ahead whilst I cycled. The basic idea was to build gradually and not to rush it. It was pointless trying to make up for lost time by piling on extra hours and extra intensity. That would risk injury and would set me back even further.

I was approaching the last set of hairpin bends when I spotted the little rental car by the side of the road. Steam was pouring out of the engine. As I drew alongside the car I spotted the driver on his mobile phone. To say he looked upset would be an understatement. As his day deteriorated mine improved. I gradually began to feel better on the bike.

The descent was fast and the road was smooth. I took delight in threading the bends together smoothly and at high speed. I have always enjoyed descending and today was no different. As often happens when I am training on the bike a tune lodged itself in my head and refulsed to go away. Who sang it? It was on the tip of my tongue but I could not remember the name of the musician.

As soon as I got home I looked it up and laughed. Recorded in 1977 it is a song that is full of get up and go, unlike me and the Daihatsu Matiz.


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