Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysée, Paris, France. 7.23.17. 🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷 Au Revoir @letourdefrance! Chapeau. Not the best. Not the worst. But July sans le Tour…😱😱😱 #TdF #rideyourbike #drinkgreatcoffee #grimpeur #specialtycoffee #cycling #life
That’s what Chris asked me today, as we rode head first into the tail end of the remains of hurricane Katia. That makes it actually seem more dramatic than it was, the winds weren’t anywhere near as bad as yesterday, but we’re still talking around 20mph, with stronger gusts. Obviously though we don’t have weather like today’s every time we meet up for a midweek ride.
My only response was that it must be down to our differing riding styles. I have a penchant for lumpy rides. I don’t quite put myself down as a grimpeur, I’m not that skinny and fast up hills though. I am however not a rouleur, unlike Chris. So the fact that when we meet up we tend to push each other on our weaknesses adds to the pain at the end. I think it’s probably magnified by our shared love for pushing the big gears, not the smoothest method of riding, but sure as hell the way to feel the ride.
Today’s ride exemplified our rides, undulating but with plenty of gradual and fast downhill segments, where the power of a rouleur comes to the fore. No real long steep climbs, but a fair few lumpy hill climbs to power out of the saddle up. So that’s why our midweek rides are so hellish.
So two weeks ago I was hit by a car coming home from training. Some time off the bike followed and Marys Peak TT on Saturday marked my return to racing. I started off feeling really good, flying in fact. I wasn’t sure where my form was at so the numbers bolstered my confidence and I was pretty sure I’d be able to best last years time (I had beaten all my previous TT times this year up to Saturday). Unfortunately at about 13km the injuries in my left leg started screaming and my ability to put out power just dropped. I managed to push through it and finish strong but still went 6 seconds slower than last year. Somewhat disappointing as if I hadn’t been involved in an accident I was confident of doing at least a minute if not two minutes faster than last year (based on other recent time trials). However, considering what could’ve happened with being hit by a car I am grateful to have been able to start and finish at all.