This man isn't about to quit; that's V Face right there.

On Rule #6: Resistance

On Rule #6: Resistance

by / / 113 posts

Strength can be a fickle thing this time of year, when the training isn’t as consistent as it should be; it comes and goes, sometimes several times in the span of a single ride or even a climb. Like a rosy-eyed dreamer I keep awakening as I train, thrown like a rag doll between a state nearing euphoria and one resembling purgatory.

My mind is what drives me as a Cyclist, it is what allows my to keep going despite the burning in my legs and lungs. It is what pushes me to leave the comfort of my home to climb aboard my bike when it is dark, cold, and rainy. But there are times when the legs won’t go or the body fails in some anomalous way when we are struck by the reality that we are but puppets, pushed and pulled by forces that exist outside outside the jurisdiction of our will.

Whether or not the body fails, the mind can still resist. It can resist easing back. It can resist turning around. It can resist turning the bars to steer away from the extra climbing loop. Giving in is the worst kind of weakness we have in Cycling. With time all the acute reasons why we want to quit will pass; the acid will flush from our muscles, the gasps for air will give way to steady breathing, the cold will leave our bodies. But quitting, and the doubt it cultivates can last much, much longer.

Quitting begets quitting. It wears down your confidence and makes you question yourself. It asks questions of you that you will struggle to answer when the 2am Ghosts of Lost Opportunities come calling. Worst of all, quitting gets easier the more you do it.

Before my rides, I will decide if it is to be a hard day or an easy day; whether I will do the extra loop with the big climbs or look for the flatter roads. Once on the ride, I will shut off the part of my mind that asks those questions and simply shut off the part of my mind that processes those considerations. I will not stop until I am done.

Our strength may be fickle, but our minds are steady.

// La Vie Velominatus // The Rules

  1. First person to say they weren’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition has to do hill reps

  2. @the Engine

    First person to say they weren’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition has to do hill reps

    Or eat spam. Spam, spam, spam (ad nauseum) . . . or even a wafer thin mint. (said in a cloying, obsequious French accent).

  3. @the Engine I will defer to thy greater knowledge, good sir.

  4. @wiscot

    @the Engine

    First person to say they weren’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition has to do hill reps

    Or eat spam. Spam, spam, spam (ad nauseum) . . . or even a wafer thin mint. (said in a cloying, obsequious French accent).

    The Black Knight knew how to suffer, though…

    Tis but a scratch!

  5. @the Engine

    On a point of order that wasn’t a Python sketch it was from At Last the 1948 Show – which begat both Python and the Goodies

    Not forgetting I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again as a nursing ground for both.

  6. @Teocalli

    @the Engine

    On a point of order that wasn’t a Python sketch it was from At Last the 1948 Show – which begat both Python and the Goodies

    Not forgetting I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again as a nursing ground for both.

    And the Goons begat MP and the Goodies. Milligan, Secombe, Sellars and Bentine. I remember Bentine’s kid’s show in the 70s – wonderfully strange. Also Milligan’s QB7 stuff – just strange.

  7. @Mike_P

    @wiscot

    @zugo

    I don’t quit. My problem is different. I have trouble stablishing new goals and challenges. I’m now trying to do a transition to a more experienced group of riders from my currently “newbie we only ride bycicles” group. It’s really hard for me cause I don’t wanna be the last guy on the peloton. I need to take some shots of The V.

    I think this is one of the great things about the bike: the ability to set goals and achieve them – even if it take a shitload of suffering to do so. I know the Rules say it’s not about distance, but distance is a very good way to set and achieve said goals. For example: as the year progresses, my rides go from 50kms to 80kms, 100, 120, 160, 200, 200+ The goal this year is a 320 kms ride. Sure, time and daylight sometimes dictate otherwise, but there’s also great joy when you head out on a ride, feel better than you thought you would and blow past the goal for the day. Truly a win-win.

    +1

    @zugo put that ego in a box for a while, join that faster group and accept the batterings for a while. You’ll not be at the back for too long, but in my humble opinion “I don’t want to….” is a path to certain disappointment. I prescribe liberal doses of Rules #5 and #10

    @zugo, do it. That time in the pain cave has rewards. I did the same, called it my Thurday Death Ride. But before long I was hanging onto the back of the group, then I was in the group, then I was dropping back to bring slower riders up. The faster riders commented on the progress I’d made. It as all very encouraging. My fastest year on the bike since the 80’s, and just a few months after ACL reconstruction.

  8. “I rode. I rode until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I rode some more.”

  9. Percentage wise, doing nothing is 100% easier

  10. @Chris

    @wiscot

    @the Engine

    First person to say they weren’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition has to do hill reps

    Or eat spam. Spam, spam, spam (ad nauseum) . . . or even a wafer thin mint. (said in a cloying, obsequious French accent).

    The Black Knight knew how to suffer, though…

    Tis but a scratch!

  11. @wiscot

    @the Engine

    First person to say they weren’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition has to do hill reps

    Or eat spam. Spam, spam, spam (ad nauseum) . . . or even a wafer thin mint. (said in a cloying, obsequious French accent).

    Hey, keep to your own turf. You can have your crappy cheese but Spam belongs to Minnesota!

  12. @RedRanger

    Percentage wise, doing nothing is 100% easier

    Similarly, going slow is the only thing you don’t need to practice in order to get better at it.

    (Not totally true, I actually find that only really good cyclists can go however slowly they need to in order to ride with someone who sucks. Museeuw riding with us being a prime example.)

  13. Great article! ” 2am Ghosts of Lost Opportunities” could have been ripped from a Springsteen lyric!!

  14. @EBruner

    Great article! “ 2am Ghosts of Lost Opportunities” could have been ripped from a Springsteen lyric!!

    Maybe it was; always hard to tell. I ripped it from @Gianni’s work for The Rules (book), and there is no telling where he ripped it from.

    Its hard to tell if anyone ever has an original idea or thought.

  15. @Mikael Liddy

    @souleur yup, it’s amazing the fight people have in them when they need to draw on it. SA (and our cycling community) unfortunately lost an amazing individual this week. Ashleigh Moore (OAM) had managed to fight off cancer 3 times in the last 9 years before it took his life on Monday. During that time he worked tirelessly to set up & promote Cancer Voices SA as an advocacy group for cancer fighters here in SA along with running a cycling team/club under the same name.

    I first met him around October 2011 & have done a few different rides with him & the other CVSA riders over the past couple of years, during that time I watched him complete 100k rides basically on one lung & if there was ever a consideration of not finishing any ride he went on, it was never made apparent to those around him.

    As poor as the reputations of Lance Armstrong & Livestrong are at the moment, I know that the amount of support that Ashleigh & anyone linked to CVSA have received over the last few years from them has been amazing & it’s one of the reasons he was able to see multiple versions of the horrible disease off as many times as he did.

    Makes it kinda tough to justify any type of excuse for pulling the pin on a ride cos you’re not quite feeling it…

    A much better written summary of an amazing man’s deeds http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/lost-to-cancer-ashleigh-moore-voices-sufferers/5242290

  16. @frank

    Its hard to tell if anyone ever has an original idea or thought.

    I make it a habit to not…

  17. @Barracuda get yourself a decal for the top tube that says grandpa wasn’t a pussy, just climb the damn hill… :^)

  18. I try to focus on the feeling I’ll get after I complete it. For example, yoga tonight. One part of my brain says: ‘It’s Friday…it’s been a long week…you should just go home and veg on the sofa.’ But the other says: ‘Although it will be hard (75 minute hot class), you’ll feel good after it’s over (and had a shower). And you won’t accomplish a damn thing if you’re lazy. So suck it up for an hour and 15 minutes, wuss boy!’

  19. @cyclebrarian

    I try to focus on the feeling I’ll get after I complete it. For example, yoga tonight. One part of my brain says: ‘It’s Friday…it’s been a long week…you should just go home and veg on the sofa.’ But the other says: ‘Although it will be hard (75 minute hot class), you’ll feel good after it’s over (and had a shower). And you won’t accomplish a damn thing if you’re lazy. So suck it up for an hour and 15 minutes, wuss boy!’

    I did a hot yoga class on NY eve. Damn, I’ve never sweated so much in my life. Couldn’t manage a couple of poses, but my stamina and cardio gleaned from the bike saw me though. Quite a few took breaks, a couple quit. Felt damn good afterwards too.

  20. @wiscot

    @cyclebrarian

    I try to focus on the feeling I’ll get after I complete it. For example, yoga tonight. One part of my brain says: ‘It’s Friday…it’s been a long week…you should just go home and veg on the sofa.’ But the other says: ‘Although it will be hard (75 minute hot class), you’ll feel good after it’s over (and had a shower). And you won’t accomplish a damn thing if you’re lazy. So suck it up for an hour and 15 minutes, wuss boy!’

    I did a hot yoga class on NY eve. Damn, I’ve never sweated so much in my life. Couldn’t manage a couple of poses, but my stamina and cardio gleaned from the bike saw me though. Quite a few took breaks, a couple quit. Felt damn good afterwards too.

    Imagine my surprise when the yoga teacher said it was a hot class and going to be 105 in the room – my gf (who does it all the time swears she told me…she did not, my friend). A few had to go out of the room to take a break, but I would not – I’m not uber competitive, but I do get in a mindset that I will not quit. Like you, I fell back on the cardio and other gains I’ve made through cycling – my gf did say to me ‘we cycle in 90 degree heat and humidity all the time in the summer.’ Point taken. However, I’m thinking about that post-yoga shower as I type this.

  21. @cyclebrarian

    @wiscot

    @cyclebrarian

    I try to focus on the feeling I’ll get after I complete it. For example, yoga tonight. One part of my brain says: ‘It’s Friday…it’s been a long week…you should just go home and veg on the sofa.’ But the other says: ‘Although it will be hard (75 minute hot class), you’ll feel good after it’s over (and had a shower). And you won’t accomplish a damn thing if you’re lazy. So suck it up for an hour and 15 minutes, wuss boy!’

    I did a hot yoga class on NY eve. Damn, I’ve never sweated so much in my life. Couldn’t manage a couple of poses, but my stamina and cardio gleaned from the bike saw me though. Quite a few took breaks, a couple quit. Felt damn good afterwards too.

    Imagine my surprise when the yoga teacher said it was a hot class and going to be 105 in the room – my gf (who does it all the time swears she told me…she did not, my friend). A few had to go out of the room to take a break, but I would not – I’m not uber competitive, but I do get in a mindset that I will not quit. Like you, I fell back on the cardio and other gains I’ve made through cycling – my gf did say to me ‘we cycle in 90 degree heat and humidity all the time in the summer.’ Point taken. However, I’m thinking about that post-yoga shower as I type this.

    Yup, I think the  suffering we inflict upon ourselves on the bike stands us in good stead when other physical challenges arise. My friend (who goes regularly to the hot yoga) was a) mighty surprised I’d do the class to begin with, and b) very impressed by my performance. But there is a difference that makes the bike better/harder. If I’d wanted to quit the class, it was a 10 second walk out the door to the locker room and relief. On the bike, you want to quit and it’s 15 miles into a headwind home. I’ve never heard anyone say yoga builds character . . .

  22. @michealliddy: amerckx brother

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