Racer X

A shower and a load of clean laundry after RAW, I was feeling gung ho about riding some more. Mentally, at least. In the two weeks hence, the physical realities were catching up to me. Nothing has “hurt,” but I’ve felt sluggish.

I often try to motivate myself by finding a rider ahead of me who I can keep up with until I reach the traffic light, mile marker, landmark, or hard count. Sometimes, when I’m tired, the “rider” is an ornate traffic light or mile marker. Catching up to a stationary mailbox isn’t as inspiring, but sometimes I have to take what I’m offered.

Racer X: in aerodynamic helmet.

On the way home Thursday, after climbing up Sammamish Plateau via Black Nugget, I had a couple of minutes’ wait at the light to “recharge.” The flat section following this is a fast ride before final, last hill home. To my right, waiting for a break in traffic before he could turn right, was another cyclist. I will call him “Racer X.” He looked far fitter and sported a nicer bike. When I passed him, I was doing 16mph, a respectable speed for me. A gap in traffic appeared. I could see him in my rear view mirror, pedaling out of the saddle, catching up and getting ready to pass me.

With the unofficial challenge issued, I upshifted. Warp 18. Warp 20. Warp 22. Warp 24. (Cap’n, we have buckling of the forward handlebar bag array.) Warp 25.6.

I had to slow down to make the right turn into my subdivision. (Everyone on the bridge flies left in coordinated fashion)
Racer X did, too (Gulp.). He was beautifully smooth, apparently floating above the potholes and ruts. Wondering how long I could ride hard enough to keep him from passing me, I downshifted for the short, steep hill. Caught in the earth’s gravitational tractor beam, I was slowing down. Warp 15. Warp 13. 12.6. 12.3. (Sir, the overload warnings are lit up like a Christmas tree; the main energizer bypasses willna take …) At almost twice the speed I’d normally take this hill, I was well into anaerobic territory. It hurt like hell. The image rear view mirror was bendy, but wasn’t getting bigger….

This time.
He left the scene, before I could thank him for the ass-kicking workout.

1 thought on “Racer X”

  1. Hee hee. What a great story, Jim! I love the image of seeing your pretend foe in your rear view mirror, standing up to take you on.

    My favorite maneuver is to time stop lights, flying past a fitter rider just as the light turns green. As it’s mostly a downhill away from my apartment, I rarely see him again, but when I do, my Racer X always makes a point of passing me as casually as possible, like he wasn’t busting his ass to catch up with me. Sometimes I feel bad for him: he doesn’t realize that with all this extra mass, I naturally drop faster!

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