After a few weeks of rain, sinusitis, rain, kids birthday parties and other family events, there was no escaping it: yesterday morning was Waterfall time.
All went well until somewhere between Brighton and Doll's Point, Lindsay cruised up beside me and called me Jan, as in Jan Ullrich - winner of an Olympic Gold media, five TDF 2nd places and other honours galore (and a drugs ban).
Anyone who has seen me ride (I am fat and slow and clean) knows that is a shocking misnomer. So I wondered what the heck that was all about?
I was on the big ring, in a big gear, maybe 52:16 (?) and cruising nicely in my usual stompy style.
Apparently, Only blokes like Jan Ullrich ride in the kind of gear I was in and it is not quite the done thing. To build leg speed, something I am interested in for the track, I need to be on my small ring, in a higher gear.
That means moving my legs a lot more.
I tried it and - phew! - that's hard work. So hard, in fact, that I blew up coming along Taren Point Road, i.e; pathetically early.
Mercifully, I got a red light and inhaled an energy gel. And about a km up the road some of the bunch stopped for a flat. At Sutherland another fellow DHBCer had stopped to fix a squeak.
By now the gel had kicked in and I did pretty well on the way to Waterfall, even accelerating a bit out of Heathcote. By then I think I was back on the big ring, and stayed on it most of the way home.
Today, however, I got out the MTB for the school commute, put it on the smallest of three rings and spun for the 4.5km return journey. I think my legs are worse off after that than they were after Waterfall!
It was yet another fascinating incident in my short cycling career. I no longer believe it is 'as easy as riding a bike.' Riding a bike well is hard!