I am thrashing about the house looking for a AA battery but its just and excuse though to keep me off the road bike. I think I need it to I can chart my progress on the on bike computer. This amazing little tool acts as both disincentive and a mini mr motivator. Its been a while since I squeezed my self into the lycra suit, but it has to be done, an hour on the road bike is the best way I have found to burn it off the waist. The clothes code for road biking is quite strict as well. The baggy short is out, the wind drag is noticeable and the flapping on a fast decent unacceptable. The shirt also has a multitude of functions, is a banana holder, energy gel store and a fashion statement. Its also an inducator of allegiance. The French classics, PMU Team, Credit Agricole, sit aside US Postal Service, but choosing the right shirt is a code and a set of indicators about how commited you are to the sport. When the US Postal Service dumped the team amid scandal and the subsequent claims of wide spread drug use during the Tour De France and beyond, the shirts became a statement of anti establishment support, an instant classic. Wearing one in France is a real reminder to alpine riders that an upstart American, arguably the greatest ever rider in the world, just beat them at their own game. In the bottom of the drawer is my chosen shirt for the ride, it’s a Grateful Dead, “dead head” shirt, the statement is more reefer than EPO and that will do me.
Helmet or no helmet today, no helmet I decide, I pick up the bike, it still amazes me how light it is how fine the frame, how this the super hard tires are. I plug in my iPhone select the track and clip into the pedals. Locked onto the machine I slowly turn the pedals until the bike computer shows 18 miles and hour and 90 – 110 revolutions per minute. The rolling resistance is steady and fluid and I settle down into a steady rhythm, It’s a familiar cadence the swish of the wheels a necessary indicator of the leg pain which will soon arrive. I visualise that I am chasing a group or riders ahead of me and flick the gears into a harder and smaller chain set on the rear. I am sweating now and drips are running down my forehead into my eyes, the strains of Kings of Leon thrash around in my head, but I hardly notice the music as the sound of my breathing fills my consciousness. The hills flash by. After 50 mins I decide the torture and the reward are well matched. With a degree of relief and self-satisfaction I bring the wheels to a slow warm down stop.
I unclip from the bike and step off onto the living room carpet, the peloton instantly evaporates into a vision of soft furnishings and domestic detritus; the rain outside is turning to sleet and its pitch black. I fold up the turbo trainer and take the bike out of the room into the hall. All I have to do now is have a shower and explain away the damp patch on the carpet.