It’s a beautiful, yet cruel sport, this. It punishes you for being lazy, for being unfit, but it also punishes you when you are at the top of your game. And as for Europe, well it’s sending out all kinds of mixed messages when it comes to cycling. Everyone rides, and a good number of them do it while smoking. If it’s good enough for them…
…It’s not good enough for me. I returned from Keepers Tour with a little smoking habit, one that has been an on again/off again affair over the years; mostly off I must say, but every now and then I like to partake in a puff (usually if someone else is smoking close by, and I’m drunk). With my bike stuck in Lille and me wandering around for a week or so after the trip ended, boredom set in and smoking seemed to help relieve it, five minutes at a stinking, coughing time.
As always, the inanity of the whole procedure quickly became apparent, and after returning to New Zealand with three weeks of no riding the ol’ airbags were in need of a good clean out. The usual dread of the first ride back was there, but so were the reserves of V. Luckily it was a solo ride, as the amount of hacking and spitting would’ve put even the most grizzled of sailors off. The bike acted like a chimney sweep for my lungs.
It was a great ride. Short, yes; slow, for sure; flat, you betcha. But it was a ride, and I survived. On V. It’s become my new motto. When you think your fitness is non-existent, when you make excuses not to ride or shy away from harder routes, just remember that you’ve got The V in reserve, deep down, even if dormant. It’s always in you. It will see you through those dark days and rise to the top when needed most. Shit, it’s inscribed right there on the leg of your bibs. Look down, drink it in, breathe it in if there’s room amongst the carcinogens, and use it.
No excuses. Survive on V.
Vive la vie Velominatus.