Late last year, I started getting notifications on Strava that one of my KOMs had been taken. Nothing unusual there, especially around Christmas time when we get an influx of tourists. Then I started to take a closer look to see if it was the guys on a tandem bike like the Christmas before. Nope, some bloke called Richard. And it seemed to go long than the holiday break. Arse, there is a local who has found Strava and is quick. My worst nightmare.
Now lets just sort one thing out before I get feedback that I am a fat pretender. I know that! I have ridden with enough very good riders to know where I sit in the pecking order, and it is some where between the grupetto and broom wagon. Still, it smarts a bit when the segments your created are being picked off like low hanging fruit.
There is one segment I was using to judge my fitness as it is a slight incline over a few hundred metres. Every now and then I would take a swing at it to see how my fitness and strength was holding up.
Richard and I swapped the KOM between us 4 or 5 times, and as of today he still holds it by 1 lousy second. I fear it is now out of reach. Some friendly banter started on Strava and Richard invited me out in the morning with a group of guys he rides with.
It is a 6am roll out up at a the local headland. So I showed up one day and found they do a set loop of 19kms around the local area. The first morning I had my arse handed to me as the fast guys put me to the sword up some of the short climbs. That said, these blokes are whippets. Well most of them. The three that are nearly always near the front, Richard, Barry and Brian, are quite a bit less chunky than I am. They are however, all my elders. Luckily for me, there are a few others than I can keep up with. Harry, Trevor and Ron are more my speed, so it isn’t a total loss.
This is what it looks like currently when I head out of a morning.
I have about 2.5kms to meet up with the guys and then it is pretty much full gas for the best part of 40 minutes for me.
The last 200m is a sprint. You know, boys being boys. I am yet to have a crack as my arse is usually about 50m behind me at that point.
It is then a gentle roll back to the table of knowledge for a quick catch up on local happenings before the group disperses. I occasionally do a gentle run back to the headland to get some cheap kilometres in the bank and scare the crap out of the local wildlife for my Instagram account.
I am really enjoying the early morning riding. It is difficult dragging myself out of the fartsack at 5am, but once I am awake, I love it.
So far the riding has been fast and enjoyable. We have only had one small drama, yesterday when Richard had a close call, a lot closer than this video suggests.
I can tell you from where I sat it looked a lot worse. Hopefully that sort of thing doesn’t happen too often.
So I would like to thank Richard for the invite and the rest of the bunch for the welcome.