Sunday, 2 March 2014

The wind is back!

So today I've been up some lumpy bits. One of which, Rushton Hill, I just can't get better on. I set my PR on my steel framed triple really soon into discovering Strava and I've never beaten it. Hills are weird. Some beat the hell out of me and some which look similar I get really stuck into. The best example of this is Warkton Hill which I hate and it's sister on the return to Kettering, Warkton to Stamford Road. As they sit either side of the Ise I guess they form the Ise valley and for that reason should be pretty similar. I fly up the latter and I think the reason why is in my head as it's usually the last significant slope on a shop ride. The thing is our bodies are set to protect us from ourselves. Most people can push themselves harder than they think but as soon as our heart rates elevate our body sets about sending signals that we're in distress and whatever we're doing it would quite like us to pack it up! Through training we overcome this but some people can really really really push themselves. In cycling we call this suffering. We have a suffer score on a Strava. There are sufferfest training videos and so on. It was famously remarked of Steven Roche, cycling legend, that he couldn't suffer. I remember watching the channel 4 highlights with my Dad in '87 when he proved everyone wrong about that! I'm not saying we can all be a GC contender if we push harder but every now and then we my heart is screaming, my lungs are burning and my legs feel ready to cramp I think of Roche in '87 and I think: "I wish I could do that!"

Now when you think about it doesn't suffer sound like an over the top word? I'm sure people unable to get back into flooded homes are suffering, people in Ukraine are really suffering etc. so when us lycra clad loonies engage voluntarily in our hobby and in the process exhaust ourselves in a self inflicted sado masochistic manner, well, that's not suffering it's a form of self harm. It's impossible to explain to the uninitiated but for me there is a great deal of pleasure in that pain. Like I said suffer is the wrong word.

Now ruining yourself uphill maybe many peoples idea of a great time and I do like it. However what really floats my boat are the downhills. I joke that I'm a downhill specialist and I certainly have a momentum inducing physique. On this ride was one of my favourite downhill segments, the Desborough Road Drop. I'm currently 2nd out of 220 and today I wanted a crack at the KOM, unfortunately or perhaps fortunately for my health and safety a headwind spoiled any chance of that.

Whether you're a fan of ups or downs. In it for the KOMs or just to survive. I hope you had a good weekend on the bike. I did!

A gratuitous selfie

Desborough road drop

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