You stare at that white line, rolling along on the 40:15 at a nice 18mph tempo. Watching the line, that damn white line. Mind wanders, looking for games to play. Ride the line, ride the line, stick to the line. Know when you're on it without looking, developing instinct. Feel the smoothness of it thru you tires, sense the rumble of the raw asphalt when you slide off by half an inch, working with that indexed 105 headset. Steady and smooth, just keep ticking it over. Passing the time until properly 'warmed up.'
Stare at the line and wonder, has all this riding been in vain? Is this fixed only road thang a good approach? Am I neglecting something, am I missing something. Have I unknowingly created a gaping chink in my armour? When the man says "GO!", will this have been enough?
Tick tick tick, FOCUS! Get back on the line. Race day fast approaches, on everybody's mind. Bender claimed last night that he's "not even thinking about it." Just by making that statement, he's lying, why else would he bring it up? I know he senses that shadowy monster in the corner, you can't ignore it. Filled with fear, respect and arrogance all at the same time. You know this race will kick your ass, you're expecting it to, anything less is unacceptable. You know you're contender, you've done the work, you've been riding under grey skies for what seems like forever. Can count on one hand the number of 'nice' days you've been out so far this year, one per month maybe? Weatherwise it's been a less than stellar spring, dues have been paid.
And the ribbon rolls on and on and on, tick tick tick. This is my backyard, riding thru here two, three, sometimes four days a week. You know these woods, these hills, these trails, those rocks.....all. those. god. damn. rocks.
You know you're gonna kick some ass, even if it is just your own. That's why you play this game, searching for that line you dare not cross, where is my limit? What's it gonna take for me to one day say, NO MORE!!!! You wonder how your programme is gonna stack up against those skinny fuckers that went to Spain, how it'll compare to a week of Reddish, to Keeferkeefer's dawn patrols or all those cellar rats that spent a winter's worth of 'quality time' on rollers like hamsters in a wheel. Where am I at? Have I done enough? Goals have been reached. Will this approach work?
tick tick tick......
Here's the climb, time to shut up now.