It's dark but listen
I don't like riding at night and yet I went on.
Sometimes during an ordinary training ride you may discover gold within. Long rides during the work week are difficult. Motivation is low when the weather is unfair, cold and wet.
I started my ride on Beach Road after work. My aim was to ride 80kms. I don't like riding at night, yet I went on.
It was 6 degrees, drizzling and dark, very dark! Perfect. As I settled in to the ride, I began to take in my surroundings. I saw the front light beaming like a semaphore, the road was also slippery and black like a licorice strap.
There was really no distractions other than a few cars - no scenery, nothing, nothing to look at. I couldn't see my bike monitors I depend on them for training rides hmm - maybe too much.
I started pushing hard, but I didn't know my speed or heart rate - I remembered the old scale of the (Borg perceived exertion table). I felt well within myself. I listened - the seat had a funny creak - the hubs had a particular tick, I didn't know my speed or hr - I sometimes glanced at the egg-shaped pedal strokes - I must work on that!
My hands were welded to the hoods. I listened to the breathing rising and falling. I was drenched. My shoes squelched but I was pumped.
I finished the ride in a good time and in good spirits. I came to recognise how often disconnected we are from what's actually happening when we are riding. So much other thinking gets in the way.
If competitive bike riding is the sum of the mental and the physical then - listening, reading and watching to what is really happening matters a great deal. It is a training step up in the right direction.
Will talk soon.