Riding home last night I was the victim of my own competitiveness. Approaching the biggest hill of the ride I spotted another rider a couple of hundred meters ahead. As is the male prerogative, I had to pass him on the forthcoming climb. But, as a follower of the rules, I fastidiously subscribe to the following;
Train Properly: if you get passed by someone, it is nothing personal, just accept that on the day/effort/ride they were stronger than you. If you can’t deal, work harder. But don’t go playing leap frog to get in front only to be taken over again (multiple times) because you can’t keep up the pace. Especially don’t do this just because the person overtaking you is a woman. Seriously. Get over it.
My male-over-competitiveness resulted in a short bust of speed up the hill, passing the chap and then a sustained period of ‘ohmygod, this hill is longer than I remember’, closely followed by ‘I wish I wasn’t on a singlespeed’, then ‘the top, at last, the top’. Oh course, the top wasn’t the end, #38 popped into my head. I had to keep smashing on the pedals to stay ahead, I began chanting ‘38,38,38,38,38’, at the first downhill section I pedaled like my life depended on it. ‘38,38,38,38,38, no leap frogging’ and so it continued until I turned left and the other chap turned right. Fortunately, I had recovered a bit from the climb and could keep my cadence up so I didn’t look too much like a twat! The flip side of this over-exuberance was that I finished the ride with broken legs and a warm feeling of having done a decent session!