Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Cycling Games

Many of you will remember the great little film a NYC resident named Casey Neistat made about his encounter with the NYPD who berated and then fined him for not cycling in the bike lane (which was blocked!).

Here it is if you haven’t see it:

Casey also has another little film about running:

I really love this film, I can relate to it. I run sometimes to vary my training but mostly, I cycle, and when I do I play the same sort of games in my head, I’m sure we all do. So I’m going to steal Casey’s idea and transpose it for me, and my cycling.

I love to cycle, to race, to commute, to train, to ride single track in the quiet bush, just me and the dirt and the trees. But before I ride, the games start in my head.

Is the weather ok? What is the wind doing? It's Melbourne, it's always windy. Have I got enough time? Is it worth it? Should I spend more time at home?

Housework. Friends. Fiancée. TV. Those jobs around the house that aren't going to finish themselves. Those unwashed dishes, that un-vacuumed floor.

What do I have to do today? Can I rock up in Lycra? Should I take a change of clothes? Will I be able to grab a shower? Will I be stinky? Can I fit everything I need in my back pockets?

How do I feel? Is my knee ok? Has yesterday's headache gone? That pain in my thigh - what is that? Do I feel strong? Do I feel fast?

Which bike? Is the bike ok? Is it clean, oiled, tight, stiff? Is it 100%?

And then I ride, and the real games begin...

How far will I go? Where will I go? Can I go further, faster, higher than yesterday, than last week, than ever before?

Catch that guy, pass those girls, hold that wheel, give that guy a spell. Roll a turn. Should I stick in this Peloton? That guy's fat - go around him. What's that smell? Man that's bad BO - go around him - quickly!

How fast can I get to work today? Can I beat yesterday's time? Have I got enough water? Have I got enough food? Gels, bars, fruit, nuts, jelly babies. Urrggh! I'm getting a burger after this!

How many kilometre's have I done? How many pedal revolutions have I done? What's my altitude? What's my power output? What's my heart rate? Is it too high? Is it too low?

Damn this rain. Why is the wind blowing? Why is it always a headwind? I hate you wind! I will not let you get to me. It's cold. It's hot. It's early. It's late.
How fast am I going? Can I go faster? Can I hold 35kph? The PRO's do an average of 40kph. How do they do that? Will I ever do that?

What's that bike? What's that jersey? My bike is better than that. That bike is awesome, I want it. My bike sux. No it doesn't.

Is my bike running ok? What's that noise? Why is the chain slipping? Which gear? Watch the road. Watch that pothole!

This hill never ends. This mountain is steep. My legs are screaming. Don't stop now. Just a bit further and I'm at the summit. Don't stop. Shut up legs. SHUT UP LEGS.

What's that car doing? Has she seen me? Are they turning? Where's the indicator? Red light. Green light. Amber - ride faster, I can make it!

It's time to race. Can I get a place today? Can I win? The pace is slow, should I try a breakaway? The pace is high, can I hold this? Should I sit at the back? What if i miss a break? Should I take a turn at the front? What if I crash and burn?

These are the games I play. The thoughts that run around in my head. In the end it all doesn't really matter - as long as I ride.

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