If you ever grow tired of cycling, if your training feels like too much work, if you’re not motivated in races or to complete the century you had planned this weekend, just take a few days off.
When you come back you will again see the beauty of cycling. This is something I experienced first-hand this week.
It had only been three days off the bike for me this time, but that’s three days too many in my book.
I caught a nasty cold and forced myself to stop cycling to prevent it getting any worse, which worked well.
So after falling ill on Tuesday I got back on the bike on Friday.
As I jumped on my bike like a child does on Christmas morning I realised just what an amazing machine it is – with so little effort it is possible to propel myself forwards so quickly. So much faster than those fools walking!
As I pedal, the drive-train works smoothly and efficiently, emitting that delightful din of a perfectly-lubricated chain. I look down and enjoy the mechanics in action.
It was a perfect summer’s afternoon in Girona and I was headed straight out of town for some peace and tranquility, away from any of those big tins on four wheels called cars. There is a point when heading west, a point where the traffic miraculously stops, I again allow myself to smile and feel happy that I am here in this moment.
I warm up with the sun beating down on my bare arms and legs, a thin film of perspiration forms on everything exposed which signals the start of hard work. It’s windy but I don’t care. In fact I enjoy the wind in my face.
I get low into an aero position to cheat it and cut through it like a knife. The only sounds are birds chirping, the wind in my ears and that wonderful hum of my drivetrain. From what seems like no effort at all I am screaming along. Nothing can stop me.
I hit the first climb and allow myself to feel the change in effort on the legs, my breathing becomes more laboured and adds to soundtrack to my ride. This doesn’t cause panic. Rather the opposite and it motivates me to push a little harder, to find the perfect balance of leg speed and force. Then the descent, barrelling down and leaning into the bone dry corners, as if on a train track. What a feeling!
Once home, I deserve to put my legs up, I have earned my delicious meal and it is time to plan the next days training…