May 11, 2010 posted by

Breaking The Chain

“For every cyclist on the planet, that moment when you’re out of form and you’re struggling to get back up, that’s the hardest part of cycling, whether it’s November, January or June. You feel every pedal stroke.” – Mark Cavendish

My travel schedule has meant that I’m even later than normal at getting my base miles in. I’ve had a few good rides, and some time on the trainer, but anytime you plan to take your fitness to the next level on the bike you know there will be dog days ahead. And that’s where I’m at right now. I see a lot of heart pounding, gut wrenching, blurry-eyed, dying-a-thousand-deaths style rides in my immediate future. And even though they’ll be moments out on the road where I’m questioning my sanity, I relish the thought of the weeks ahead.

I did manage to get a leg up on my training with a decent adult fitness camp with the lads last weekend. I say adult in reference to our beverages, of which there were plenty. But something’s got to ease the pain of those first hours en masse and it might as well be Oly.

No chain, as in riding so strongly that it feels as though your bike lacks a chain, is the goal of every cyclist. Moments like these, always fleeting, are the main motivation for getting back into shape. To fly up a big climb effortless, to chase down anyone who attacks the pack, to explore a trail not caring about the terrain ahead because you know you’ll be able to handle anything it dishes out; these are the reasons we choose to suffer.

Conversely, my chain feels like someone’s taken a few lengths out of it. In fact, I broke one last weekend by pedaling squares where it should have been circles. But fitness will come. Little by little I’ll add links to my chain until next time, the break will be metaphoric.

wildlife and wildflowers: pics all courtesy of Reed “The Big Engine” Bartlett


  • Now this is a blog I can get into.I just wish that I had a picture of you falling in the cow shit on this trip. Then all the pictures would be from the most current trip.I'm taking the single speed out tomorrow. I feel guilty about cheating on you guys this weekend.~R

  • And you should. My back is acting as though it wanted to ride the springy bike last weekend. How odd.

  • Rode the single yesterday. Felt good, but the climbs were harder than on the gearie. Obviously haven't been on it enough because it felt big and unwieldy. Something else must have been in my head too, because last night I dreamed that I taco'd the rear wheel on it. Strange.

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