Sunday, 30 October 2011
Thats good to know.....
As a commuter having ridden the very same route for 127 consecutive (working) days, thats 254 rides too and forth on the same route, I like to think I am the master of my route. I like to believe there is no one faster over my distance on my terrain (male pride), now I'm fitter and my legs stronger than they've ever been I recon thats not too bad a claim right? Wrong.
That age old saying that there is always someone bigger and stronger just round the corner always seems to ring true. In my case there is this one rider who always beasts me and I do mean always. He rides a bike similar to mine, its a road bike made of aluminum with full mudguards so he appears to have no mechanical advantage (Yes I've googled it, its a Quest The blue one at the bottom if you must know) but the guy is super fit and always in the tucked position no mater what part of the route he's on when I see him.
Initially when I started commuting I was ok with him passing me as he was clearly fitter than I but as I have started to pick up pace and fittness my regular beastings were starting to bother me more and more. I can confidently say I am able to pass all riders on my route regardless of bike, it's especially pleasing beating other road bike riders, I like to wait for a climb as I do like a climb which most regular riders don't.
Anyway the only way I was happy (well sort of) for this to continue was for me to let myself believe this guy was a racer, amateur whatever, just a racer of sorts. Couldn't have it any other way, I just couldn't get close to this guy, I had tried in vain to keep up on a number of occasions notably on a flat part of my commute, he passed me, I accelerated and dropped of hitting 24mph. 24mph!!! I couldn't hold that speed, jeezzz.
I've spoken to the guy before at a set of traffic lights, he works shifts at City airport in central london and lives in Bracknell, so not only a further commute but after a 12 hour shift too. Tosser. The shifts explain why I don't see him in the AM, getting beasted before work may just have killed my will to actually do this. His route from Staines to Bracknell is identical to mine so I have nowhere to hide, just take the beating.
So, I haven't seen the guy in a while (thankfully) and just kept plodding away on my commute pretending to race all those before me in preperation for the enevitable. Friday was the day.
On the route home from work on a slight ascent past Virginia Water he passed me, 'shit there he is', for the first time ever I accelerated and stayed with him (to my astonishment. I wasn't in his wheel incase you were wondering) until the set of lights by Piccolino. I sparked up a convo 'jesus mate I'm mullered just trying to stay with you, tell me you race'. 'Ah this is just a run out for me, I'm tappering down as its the end of the season', my initial thoughts to that comment were 'HELL YEAH HE'S AN AMATEUR RACER', the rest of the conversation pails into insignificance. Now it was ON.
I simply had to stay with him for as long as I could to test myself against his speed. I managed to stay with him about 10ft in front for about 4 miles (Whoop Whoop) before he gradually started to pull away, the only places I felt I gained on him were the climbs (this is my opinion mind).
I kept chasing him all the way until our routes changed. He was always in sight but not as close as I'd have liked. BUT HE WAS ALWAYS IN SIGHT!!! Now this changes everything. I posted a PB chasing that guy home, I wasn't as mullered as I'd have imagined having put so much effort into the chase.
Now my commute is a training ride with only one goal. No one is unbeatable right?