I want to be alone!

As we all know training for and competing in cycle races has many physical and physiological benefits. The contentment of a long steady ride, the pleasing achievement of a hard training session and the camaraderie of competition are the reasons that we all compete. However there can be a darker side to our endeavors in the form of the mental and physical anguish that is named many ways- ‘the bonk’, ‘the knock’, when you feel ‘sans’ or when you meet ‘L’hombre del mazo’ or ‘the man with the hammer’. Many will say that the more you suffer on the bike, the more you learn to suffer. However this surely applies to cases when you are racing on the limit, using all your reserves of strength to hang onto the wheel ahead or dying ten deaths as you solo away from the group! However when you have ‘the knock’ none of that applies- you feel so devoid of energy then there is no holding of wheels and your wish is for the ground to open up and swallow you up. Talking to a friend is out of the question; you just want to be alone! The climb to ‘cascades’ feels like Boltinghouse and slog to the Firehouse might as well be the Col de Tourmalet.
And so it was for me today!
A great group of seven tortugans (Saccone, Shei, Palmer, Parry, Brauner, Lewis, Millar) rolled up to the forest to meet with an equal group from the IN hand center and rode a steady first lap of the forest with the inevertable splits occuring up Beanblossom. On the second lap the pace of course picked up along Anderson road where the gaps opened up and I was off the back. From my vantage point Tortugans Saccone, Shei, and Palmer seemed to be riding particularly strongly. As the group went away I could tell things were about the go pear-shaped for me but against my better judgement I climbed Beanblossom at record slow speed where I was somewhat dismayed to see the group waiting for me! We took off again and that’s when the legs pretty much feel off. I peeled off the group and prepared for a long ride back in. The climbs of Hindustan and Fireshouse were successively dreadful- no pain but rather a sense of utter lethargy. Oh for a can of coke!
With thoughts of bed and sandwiches I finally made it home with tingling hands and shakey vision. The ride from the firehouse on old37 to my apartment is 6.5miles. It took me 45minutes!

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