Afternoon after the night before.
“Are we done yet, are we there yet?” the Legs nagged.
“Not yet, just eight miles to go and we're there” I replied.
“Still not keen on this, heck it’s not even daylight” the Legs persisted.
“Shut up legs” I laughed…
The above conversation is something I'd imagine most cyclists go through during a tough ride, and I think it’s a great way of having a jovial exchange with your own body to remind it that the conscious mind is always in control. No matter how tired or knackered you feel, no matter when you have an annoying ache that is needling you to stop, there’s always a bit more you can push. (safely I might add, you know, if you like — sprain, feel faint, leak blood or break bones that’s generally the limit)
And push on I did, completing the night ride from London to Brighton in just a shade over three and a half hours, which I guess isn't too bad for a journeyman 90kg cyclist such as myself. Plenty of room for improvement there, and not just about getting a better/faster/lighter bike and clothing so tight that you can judge your religion though it.
This afternoon though (obviously didn't get back home until ~7am), ouch!
Cold shower, some scrambled egg on toast for breakfast, and a mug of coffee is normally all I need after a night's exertion, whether that’s doing this kind of thing, or dancing all night in some dark and loud London club fueled on vodka and energy drinks. But not this afternoon, not this time!
Do you know I even methodically stretched afterwards too?, calves, thighs, ankles, front and back and side to side, and later sliding into a cold bed felt borderline sexual. But no, maybe it’s my age, or maybe I needed more physio work, or maybe I should have actually listened to those stupid legs and not pushed quite as much.
But hey, often it’s not even worth worrying about, you just have to suck up these pains and get on with it. Everyone makes mistakes, and if we didn't we would never learn, thinking about what we can do rather than what we can’t do is a beautiful part of what makes us human in my opinion.
On the plus side though my ‘walking like a cowboy’ act has improved, and sometimes the sofa on a Sunday afternoon isn't a bad place to be, at least the Wimbledon Men’s Tennis final is on…