Humbled for a season…

It doesn’t get easier; you just get faster. – Greg Lemond.

Remind me again what it is that pride goeth before? Here is a post I prepared late last night, but held off from posting on the grounds it came across as a tad boastful and conceited (but hey, I got it out of my system):

New toy

“Man built this… It’s a vehicle.”

Viva la Revolution
Went out for my first proper ride today on my new toy, a Revolution Continental Race from the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative (motto: “The Revolution Will Not Be Motorised”.

OK, so it’s a little more “entry-level” than, say, this baby, but I still managed my fastest speed ever going down Brasted Hill on the North Downs: 79 km/h, agonisingly falling short of 50 mph. Oh well, there’s always next time. 🙂

Well, “next time” happened this afternoon. Normally I only go out once on a weekend, but it’s a gorgeous day, and – bearing in mind that it’s not that long till I’ll have to go back to my old bike for the winter – I decided to make the most of my new acquisition by going for another ride.

Oh. Dear.

With twenty miles yesterday and a swim this lunchtime in my not-especially-fit legs, I was soon in trouble. I got off to a humiliating start soon after leaving home, as I attempted to get onto the back wheel of another cyclist – a guy old enough to be my father, and just as quick on his bike as my (lifelong cyclist) father. (Riding close to the back wheel of another cyclist reduces wind resistance.)

Hanging onto someone else’s wheel without reciprocating is a royal road to cycling unpopularity, so after a few hundred metres I felt I ought to take a turn at the front. By this time the road was beginning to climb a little, but in my pride I was reluctant to drop down on to my “granny ring” (the third chain ring at the front, intended for easier climbing but disdained by more “serious” cyclists – and noticeably absent from my more – ahem – experienced companion’s own machine).

Well, that didn’t last too long. After an embarrassingly short period of time, I dropped back, let grandad go past, and watched him disappear into the distance. I then proceeded to stagger round an abbreviated 12-mile loop, making a mental note to have a few days’ rest before venturing out again.

But hey, I still think that was a great Simpsons quote to kick off that other post…

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One Response to Humbled for a season…

  1. Pingback: A “co-operator” writes… « The Wandering Hedgehog

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