I expect that for most normal people a Friday night down the pub would not include a long debate about whether to spend the next day mountain biking or road cycling. But thankfully I do not have normal friends – instead I have a whole bunch of pals who are up for a big adventure, even if they have had one too many glasses of white vino the night before.
And so, after much discussion, mulling over the merits of mountain biking versus road cycling on an icy, wintry February Saturday morning, it was finally, ever so finally, decided that Vicky, Jo PM, Ele and I would head out for a spot of relaxing road cycling.
What I’d managed to overlook was that this was “relaxing” according to World Champion Vicky (first by masses of minutes in the age-group 2008 World Triathlon Championships in Canada). I am sure that Vicky thought that the 3 hour trip around the wonderfully scenic Renfrewshire hills (with a cake a coffee stop at Lochwinnoch) was a doddle.
I imagine that both Ele (I haven’t drunk so much since New Year and now I’ve drunk too much all in one night Ele!) and Jo (just because I looked at the scales doesn’t mean I’m going to think about my weight much Jo!) found the trip on the reasonable side of hard-going.
But due to weedling legs and an almost total lack of road cycling this winter I spent a lot of time being dropped on hills and struggling to keep up with the group on the flats. If nothing else the outing gave me a great big boot up my cycling pants. I need to get out on the road more – and quickly if I’m to survive the Etape in May.
The thing is though I really did enjoy the experience. I might not be as strong as these girls but they never made me feel like I was holding them up and when I was cycling as part of the group the chat was fun and lively. And now I have a target to aim for. Going out for a ride with people who are better than you (but also considerate) is great for honing your ambitions. Thanks girlie Tri girls.