Has this ever happened to you?
I’m out on my ride this morning, freewheeling into one of the many little villages we have in the hinterlands here, and I hear the tick, tick, tick of another rider behind me. I’m going pretty slow, but he seems happy to hold my wheel.
At the roundabout on the other side I turn left onto a fast, flat road that leads to the little mountain I have behind home. I’ve got a side wind that makes me want to push a bit, plus I can ‘feel’ this guy’s presence. I accelerate to over 40 kph, trying not to look like I’m dying a slow death. I think he’s still with me, but I’m not surprised – he’s doing only 70% of the work I am, after all.
I see a rise in the road ahead and decide that this is the place to get rid of him. I drop down 2 rings and hammer up the rise, knowing that my burst of speed has created a gap, and that the wind will keep us apart. I am confident I am the stronger rider for no reason whatsoever.
At the top of the rise I go down 2 more and gun it down the other side because I am sure he’s thinking that this is the place I’ll take a breather. I time trial all the way to the intersection, where both of us must stop. I place a foot down at the end of the road and turn around.
There’s nothing behind me. Nobody.
He must have turned right at that roundabout and I was racing with myself the whole way. At least I won.