Ace of Base
It’s still a month away. You’ve got plenty of base.
If those words were being spoken about an upcoming DJ set, then I’d probably not take them completely with a grain of salt. When they are in reference to a 160km event with a shitload of hills, and the sum total of post-KT riding can be counted on a couple of hands and half a foot, then the magnitude of them becomes a little bit greater. A lot greater, actually.
Having a base of fitness to call on isn’t something to be sneezed at. Years of riding does give you an in-built reserve of muscle memory and hopefully some leftover cardio capacity, but being match-fit will only ever come from actually playing the match. I can comfortably jump back on the bike and into our group with not too much trouble, keep the pace and take my turns. But the false sense of security is quickly wiped out when there’s a rise in the road, or someone decides they want to ride twice as fast and the rest start chasing. I’ll usually be smart enough to sit back and not try to mix it up, and be thankful that at least the head is still operating at acceptable levels. I mean, they have to wait for me anyway. Right? Guys?
FRB‘s are pretty frequent at this time of year (in the lower half of the world at least), and the mix of emotions they cause can be as painful as the riding. You make it through in fairly good shape, not having maxed anything out, and you feel like this is not so hard after all. Then in the middle of the night the cramps hit, legs reminding you that they’ve been criminally neglected as they protest at the shabby treatment they’ve had to endure. The lungs do their best to eject the phlegmy detritus that an almost forgotten dose of clean, fresh air is attempting to overpower. Sweat oozes from pores with an aroma of sweet victory mixed with bitter defeat. The Head has it’s usual “ahh, she’ll be right, couple of weeks you’ll be flying” spiel down pat, and you are duped into the scam with an overly agreeable “damn straight, buddy.”
You know that’s not true, but you persevere, because eventually it does come back. The base has served you well, layed the foundations, poured the concrete around the reo and now only needs the bricks to be placed on top, one at a slow, tedious time. By the end of summer your temple is standing proud once again, yet just waiting to be covered in tarpaulins and plastic over the windows when the skies grey and the cold war is lost once again.
Still a month away, you say?