IN THE ‘VACUUM’

Last year I declared I am not interested in competitions. I said I simply like to ride and feel how my muscle power carries me over the tarmac and the wind dries the sweat from my face. That is all I need… That was in spring last year. I am not sure anymore how, but somehow I ended up signing for a short local bike race that summer. The mere 3 minutes that I managed to hang on with the peloton – I got dropped on the first gentle hill, gave me that chilling sensation of being part of something big, fast and dangerous. So, I tried another race, lingered on in a small group and only got dropped in the final bunch sprint. And all I wanted from there on was to get better and hold on with them. Yeah, I guess I got hooked…

fb_img_1474575134681
Getting dropped is not the end of the race. There are still cyclists behind me and we can still still form a little group… but first I have to get to the top of this climb! (Photo: Perez Cycling Team)

Misha got the bug exactly two seasons earlier and he immediately offered his services of a ‘personal coach’. I could not say ‘no’ to that! And I do like to train, right? I can’t give away all the secrets in one blog post, so lets just say – it was a busy winter. And luckily the summer schedule was similarly packed with all kinds of local road races.

The first one went really great – I managed to hold on for some 10 km – all the way to a steep 200 m climb, where I immediately got dropped of course – but did not give up and came to the finish line with the peloton of the second group that started 5 minutes after us. In the second ride of the season a similar climb was some 25 km into the race and I could hold on until then. I have manged to finish that 92 km race in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Thanks to the ‘vacuum’ in the peloton I managed to beat my personal best on the course by 25 minutes!

27665417615_0d521f7f2c_h
I am not VERY far behind!

I was very pleased with myself and as a reward I got myself on a bike-packing trip from Trondheim to Tromsø that I described in one of my earlier posts. The whole undertake was quite a typical novice mistake. I was not ready for such a big thing. After six consecutive 200 km ‘stages’ the lower part of my quadriceps developed such an unpleasant pain that I was sure I messed up my knees. While I do have to admit I like to suffer a bit (just like all the people who enjoy turning pedals), pain is not my game, so I decided to wait until it gets away. The relatively inactive recovery took me about a month and I voluntarily skipped some of the most attractive races of the season.

But I got back on the road just on time for ‘El Classico’. Must be my favorite Tromsø race of the season! Where I only got dropped half way up the climb. Fantastic!

Bottom line? Maybe the best part of the story is that there is still a lot of space for improvements. And that there will be many more chances. The peloton will be waiting for me at the start line on the same weekends every season.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s