A month off the bike, in fact a suspension of all forms of exercise, has allowed the mature sprinter’s body to recover from the rigours of prolonged training over the Winter and Spring seasons.
Only enjoyable memories remain of the regular Saturday morning blast around RP with the gang. The pain has been filed in a little, compressed mind box labelled “FORGOTTEN ITEMS”.
And so, on this very fine July morning, The Wattmeister met up with: Lion King, Slayer, Long Tom, DingleDave, Big Mig, Rupee, RaphaPaul, KillerKay, Rapid Ben, SavilleRow, Wolf and Doc.
The ride from Muswell Hill to Regents Park is punctuated by several short sharp climbs before levelling out after Spaniard’s Inn and plummeting down from Hampstead via Fitzjohn’s Avenue.
No quarter is asked or given on this most brutal of ‘warm-ups’. The Wattmeister made a point of sitting on or near the front of the group, and by the time they reached the dig up to Spaniard’s, he already knew that the laps in the Park would hurt.
Because…there’s a perception of effort, and there is measured effort via Heart Rate and Power output, let’s just call it data….but both indices were flashing the red light from an early stage.
Suddenly “FORGOTTEN ITEMS” burst open and flooded his mind and legs. Oh Yes! Pain, and how to deal with it…. that’s the missing component. And so the paceline began in earnest, each turn (into the wind, because it’s The Wattmeister’s Sisyphean task), draining his reserves more and more.
On the final lap, SavilleRow put in a mighty turn and decimated the peloton, only the red lights at Sussex Gate saved this rider. After the left turn at Physician’s Corner, announced by a shout of “CLEAR” by all the riders except The Wattmeister who could only muster a “DON’T CARE”, the peloton accelerated away to contest the sprint. Lion King pipped the slightly off-colour Slayer on this occasion with TW as Lanterne Rouge.
Special mention must go to the super domestique Rapid Ben whose prolonged efforts on the front of the group were super strong.
There’s always next week.