Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pathletes and the great race

I love these blokes. Egos on wheels. Lance Armstrong on a commuter bike. They always want to race. Most days I couldn't be bothered, but I'm working on my speed this week. I wasn't really concentrating on the rider ahead of me, who I was slowly catching up to. I was about 100m back when he caught sight of me and turned on the speed.

Now I'm a pretty friendly bloke so otherwise I would most likely have caught him up and had a chat and made a friend. But he sped up. I could have passed him but he would have picked it up again. Instead, and this is much more fun, I sat about ten metres off his back wheel, just close enough that he could see the beam of my light on the road ahead. He'd clearly misjudged me: I'm fatter than most fast blokes, but faster than most fat blokes.

The beauty of this commuter racing technique is it commits the pathlete to holding their inflated pace indefinitely. And this bloke was good. Through Sandy Bay we rocketed. He slackened a bit up the hill to Taroona, so I got a nice breather. He picked it up again as the gradient backed off and again on the flat and I stuck with him like shit on a blanket. We passed another rider who jumped into our little bunch.

Then, about a block before the side street I park my car in, then he blew up. Spectacularly. He started coasting, dropped down a bunch of gears and it was over. How sweet, how very sweet, to roll on by, say goodnight and turn left - showing him just how close he'd been.

As an added bonus, today was a PB for my short commute, 48min33sec for a ride I've never done under 52 minutes before and an average speed of 25.6km.h - fast for me.

2,446km so far this year.


NancyBoy said...

Our blogging's taken on a bitter tone today. Must be something in the phase of the moon...

Snakebite said...

Next time try riding right by them and nonchallantly saying, "I'm just coasting." And then drop them like a brick.

Adrian said...

I remember this happening to me once. I flew past a guy on a mtb bike on the Anzac Bridge. He chased after me and then overtook on the techincal section of the pedestrian overpass over Victoria Rd. I caught him on the hill up Lilyfield Rd. We both got caught at the same set of traffic lights... not talking to each other but puffing heavily. I was ashamed to have fallen into this bikely regression.

Treadly and Me said...

Heh. Nice one.

One of my favourite tricks is to freewheel as I overtake the superstar.

Another one that I enjoy is when I overtake someone, who takes offence and comes back to surge past me only to fall back again--all while I'm holding a steady pace.

But the one that really kills me is when some nong catches up to you at the traffic lights, creeps through to the front then jumps the red. Of course, you overtake them within 20 yards--until they do the same bloody thing at the next set of lights (and the next, and the next...) On a few occasions I have actually said, "Why do you keep doing that? You're obviously slower than me." Never had a satisfactory answer though.