The Gap


He makes it look easy

This is not important to the story, but I really can’t remember how it was that my group ended up a few hundred meters ahead of me. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention or perhaps I was focused on unraveling the tinfoil wrapper of my dried dates, but there they were, way up the road and dangerously close to going out of sight.

This is where painful decisions need to be made. You really have two choices:

  1. Stay resigned to your fate and keep riding alone, knowing that another group will sweep you up eventually.
  2. Gather all the courage you can and bridge that gap. 

At the protest of my lungs, heart and soul, my brain went for #2.

Step One: At first I just picked up the pace and tried to reel them in slowly. This worked, I guess, but it became evident real quick that it would have taken ages and I probably wouldn’t have had the energy to keep it up till I reached them.

Step Two: Go back to thought process and…incredibly…choose #2 again.

Step Three: New strategy. This time I would sprint all out, quickly putting myself into the red, then just keep it up till I began to whimper.

Step Four: ‘Rest’.

Step Five: Repeat steps 3 and 4, edging closer in mini stages, till I either I spontaneously combusted or bridged that gap.

I bridged the gap, I’ll have you know, and it was the sweetest rear wheel I had ever latched onto once I did.

11 thoughts on “The Gap

  1. You wont get that on a home trainer
    Swinging off a wheel is an art in itself…

    Group training (with the local hards)is your only man

    • So true, team training should be an upcoming project. We are waiting for your vicious cycle training manual that you are building, no not the Coach Rob one, the one with all the lessons and steps condensed into Racing for ……….

  2. Roan is right. Yesterday was the first real Club Ride of the year. no one with less than 3000 km in the legs. Most 10 days on mallorca. in this flatlands there is another Step 0: Judge the Wind.
    The guys were kind and rolled along for while after the sprint. so I caught them. On the final little climb I found out my new HF Max. this, I would never ever do alone

  3. Love this post. I was caught in a similar situation last night, went for option #2, and almost caught up to that wheel until I was gapped by another rider that dropped. Option #2 was no longer an option.

  4. Impressive. I can’t say I’ve ever been able to do that despite more than one attempt. When I am spit out the back, I tend to stay there. If I expend too much energy trying to latch on again, I find I am so spent I can’t even keep up with the next group that comes along.

    • I know what you mean, Steve, and I haven’t bridged all the gaps I’ve attempted, that’s for sure. I just couldn’t stomach more solitude on that day so needed to find some company!

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