So we like to ride bikes. We spend a lot of time (and money) riding bikes. Our goal is to suck less than we did the day before, the week before, the month before, the last race. There are many different ways we measure our suckage or sucking less. We ride the same route and compare our time or pace from the time before, we download and over analyze our Garmin data. We check Strave. We check our resting heart rate in the mornings. Is it lower? Is it higher? Oh shit its higher, I might be overtraining, I might be getting a cold, damn my season is doomed! What does the scale say today? Shit I ate too much. I need to poop before I step on the scale. I lost 3 pounds overnight, I need to drink more! Yikes!
Then there is the weekly Worlds. This weekly ride can be on any day of the week. Normally it is early in the week to give us serious racers time to recover, so we can bring our A game to the real races on the weekend. So all of us put on our best kits, use our best carbon, tubular, race wheels and get together for a good ol’ fashioned dick swinging match. Trust me when I say that you don’t have to be a dude to be part of the dick swinging match. Quite a few gals in this neck of the woods can lay the hurt on us guys. I have no problem getting chicked. I will give credit where credit is due.
This weekly worlds ride is how I measure my suckage. There are weeks I am dangling off the back (most weeks) and then there are weeks where I am in the mix. Yes I know I cannot drill the pace at 26/28mph heading into a headwind (or even with no headwind). My strategy is to suck someone’s wheel as long as I can. Every week I feel a bit better. I hang on just a bit longer. Finish a bit farther up in the group. Sometimes I actually finish with the main group. This is how I measure my suckage or my sucking less.
This week i was feeling not too bad. On occasion a few of the really good riders will show up on their cross bikes with cross/gravel tires (showoffs). I think to myself, sweet that will slow them down a bit, and I will be able to hang on a bit longer.
Tonight was no different. A really strong local guy showed up on his gravel bike. During the ride I was dying, but hanging in there. I was feeling pretty good (besides the dying part). Then I notice this guy (NOT the Legend, he was on his road bike) come by me on his gravel bike, shit!! I HAVE to hang on his wheel. I hang on a bit and at one point even go past him, thinking he was gone. That’s what I get for thinking. The reality is he came by me again, going up hill! shit shit! I was not lovin’ it that is for sure. At that moment it occurred to me that he also raced a 113 mile gravel race this past weekend. I suck!
I thought about how much I do suck. I am ok with my suckage though. I have embraced my suckage. I still have fun and that is what matters! I will be out there again next week and the week after evaluating my suckage.
Ps .. I have not downloaded my Garmin data yet. If the pace is lower than last week than that means I my feeling good was due to slower speed which in turn means I was sucking all that much more.