Shooting 3D following a hard bicycle ride is not bright. I’ve learned that the hard way. Sunday is the most frequent day that I shoot 3D competitions and Saturday is my hardest cycling training day. So, when I have a 3D tournament on Sunday, I taper a bit when cycling on Saturday. This arrangement doesn’t always work out.
On a hilly 3D course fresh legs are better than sore bike-trodden legs. As it was, the day before shooting on a particularly hilly course I’d ridden hard. My cycling plan was to hold back on Saturday, the day before the tournament. I’d ride the distance on my schedule, 52 miles, but do them at an easy pace. In addition, I was training with a group that typically goes easy on Saturday. I had a plan.
Riding with a group of competitive cyclists, there is always the potential some ‘hot dog’ is going to try being ‘Lance’, ride hard and drop the other riders. There is always one – on that Saturday the guy was me.
It couldn’t be helped. I was on a bike built for triathlons, very aerodynamic, with a huge gear, there was a tailwind and all the other cyclists had road bikes (not so aerodynamic) with smaller big gear ratios. It was perfectly too tempting. Someone picked up the pace a little; my adrenal glands took over causing my brain to shut down. I slammed my bike into its biggest gear, tucked myself into a tight aero position, and within seconds was escaping at 32 mph. It felt great, the other cyclists were dropped, it was a really stupid move on my part, but selfishly it felt great.
The group of cyclists was dropped. The riders were a speck in the distance behind me. Then, that tailwind became a headwind. Working together the group of cyclists caught me. I know better, I knew there would be a headwind, but for a several miles it felt great. Naturally, from the point where they caught me no one let up on the pace. It was misery, it was payback.
On Sunday my legs felt like rubber. Hiking around the hilly 3D course was pretty bad. I don’t have one of those nice little stools people carry on 3D courses so they can sit down. Sitting on the ground was a possibility, however, I’d have to get up and I wasn’t 100% certain that wouldn’t hurt worse than standing.
Saturday’s 52 miles weren’t the problem; it was how hard we’d ridden 38 of the 52 miles. If I had taken it easy most likely there would have been someone else who’d have tried to be Lance for a day. Tailwinds are hard to resist. Sometimes, temptation is too great, it felt good to ride hard, but it was stupid and I paid the price.