One, One Hundred…

A quick post today since I’ve started my last (OK, my only) triple metric-century fartlek before I start a slow taper next week. Coach Rob assures me that the big effort I put in over the next 3 days will pay dividends in a couple of weeks on race day.

This afternoon I had intended on taking the train across the Rhône River to Provence and do a loop through the Alpilles, but surprise surprise, the train was over an hour late (if you live in France you will understand the hint of sarcasm back there), so I rode the 50 km to Provence instead. Once there I passed some sure signs of summer.

Sorry, that was taken on the go, so it’s blurry. When you have a tailwind in the Rhône valley, it’s hard to stop.

Two things I want to say about passing people:

1. I think I have a character flaw that might hinder me somewhat in competitive cycling. I kind of feel sorry for the people I pass, as if I’m doing them harm in some way. It’s odd because I never had this problem in my last incarnation as a dragon boater. Maybe cycling is more personal. This doesn’t stop me of course, but I can see that I need to be more ruthless towards my fellow man on the bike. Crazy, you say? Maybe, but it’s related to #2.

2. You ever have this happen? You pass by someone and they turn to you either in surprise, indignation, or a mixture of both. In France this happens occasionally, but usually the guy will just step on the pedals and chase you down.  Today I got it 3 times, in varying degrees. One guy shot me a glance that would have had daggers coming out his eyeballs if we’d been cycling in a cartoon. I think he was a grumpy northerner, or at least that’s what I’ve labeled him. Here he is with his grumpy buddies.

And although I said it hurts me to pass others, after ripping by these guys I had a bite to eat, got passed by them, and had to do it to them all over again. This time I felt no guilt. Funny the stories you can tell yourself when you spend 4 hours on the bike. Most likely that guy just always looks grumpy, but is really a sweet man. I’ll never know though, since I dropped him like a bad habit! Hey, I think I’m getting the hang of this ruthless thing…

But other than northerners with no sense of humor, I had a really great, hilly ride through the Alpilles and managed to get a train back home that wasn’t over an hour late (it was 45 minutes late). Tomorrow, the long fartlek to l’Etape continues.

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11 thoughts on “One, One Hundred…

  1. Good post. I feel a book deal coming!

    My Adventures on the Fartleke. It really sounds like leaky flatulence.

    My Etape training continued last night with a hard session. 15-18km run this weekend, 1 more next week with a 7 and 5km thrown in. One legged squats with kettles and 2 more bike sessions and it’ll be the weekend. Up to my gf’s parents house, one more climb or run the day we leave and 2 days before, then it’s onto the QF A380 into LHR.

    See you soon!

    Training in Melbourne in winter is hard work. Been very rainy.

    • Tim, I can’t imagine how you do it in the winter. Must be hard to get the miles in the legs.

      Why London, btw? Are you renting the camper from there? Better deal? Sorry, I’m sure the answer is in your book, but no time to check…must get fartleking!

  2. Gerry – you’re just too nice a guy. I don’t care who they are, if they’re in front of me and on two wheels, it’s in my DNA to catch ’em and drop ’em, well except when I ride with my wife (you know the saying: happy wife, happy life).

    Now if the guy puts up a great fight, cycling etiquette is to ride with him until he says the magic words “don’t let me hold you back”. And when someone catches me, well…1) they’re going to feel pain catching me, and 2) I’ll ride in the red zone for hours, or until I’m breathing blood and the lactic acid is come out of my pores before I get dropped.

    My daughter once told me I was a little too competitive and I had to work on my confidence problem. I didn’t understand what she was talking about?

    Love the blog post, you’re going to have a great E’Tape. Rob

    • Reminds me of the quote of that ex-pro who I came 2nd to on Mt. Bouquet, “Must have been a good climb. I could taste the blood in my lungs”. Next year I’ll work on my pain threshold and ruthlessness. One thing at a time…

  3. I read the book… the Tortise and the Hare !!! here are a few words from the start….Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness. Then one day, the irate tortoise answered back: “Who do you think you are? There’s no denying you’re swift, but even you can be beaten!” The hare squealed with laughter.

    “Beaten in a race? By whom? Not you, surely! I bet there’s nobody in the world that can win against me, I’m so speedy. Now, why don’t you try?”
    I started to laugh when you said you passed the Northerners…. then you paused to eat….and they passed you ….. You have way to much fun on your rides…..But please don’t stop the blog entries….just stop reading Aesop !!

    • Interesting, I was thinking about the tortoise and the hare when they passed me. I made sure I didn’t make the same mistake as that silly wabbit though and pushed on right to the train station.

  4. I’m glad you passed them.

    I think you need to play a mental game with yourself and be mildly offended when anyone thinks they should be in front of you during a race. Obviously, you need plenty of riders to have a race, but that is the logical part of your brain speaking to you. Let the emotional part take over and take offense that these people believe they are better than you.

    Now, when you’re having a nice training ride do whatever your wattage meter tells you to do and let folks come and go as they please!

    • Good way to think about it. I might go nuts though if I take that tack at the Etape. I am sure I’ll be starting in a pen near the end of 10,000 riders who think they’re better than me (starting position is based on previous results, which I don’t have)!

      It seems to be my normal place at the beginning of races this year, so it is fitting.

  5. Your sunflowers are miles ahead of ours – lovely to see some in flower. Good luck with all the training. And don’t rush into being ruthless.I’d go with smugness first – just smile sweetly when you overtake someone!

  6. I never worry about passing people,… because I never do! I see them coming up from behind and just move over. I then wonder why I seldom hear “Left!” Thanks much for the posts/pics.

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