01 March, 2013

No chain day!

I went out on the bike for a long ride yesterday, and cruising around the Bretagne countryside I realised how lucky I am. It was really cold, I was fairly lost, and I was feeling pretty worn out. But here I am in France doing what I’ve wanted to do for years. The terrain is perfect for me with rolling hills and plenty of forests to explore, as well as the seaside a short ride away.

Around three hours into my ride everything seemed to come together perfectly. I saw a sign for Hennebont (where I’m living) so I wasn’t lost anymore, my legs started to feel better again, and this song came on my mp3 player:

It was a combination of several factors which gave me the buzz I’m struggling to describe. I was clearly surfing a wave of endorphins, but it was so much more than that. I was actively pursuing my aspirations and at the moment I feel like I’m making real progress. I was balanced and solid on the bike. I couldn’t even feel my legs. To coin a corny Armstrong phrase I read once; I was having a ‘no chain day’! (Unfortunately a really depressing Kate Nash song came on next… I mean… No it didn’t. What?!)

Basically I wanted to express how happy I am doing what I’m doing. Every year there’s hassle with equipment and teams and houses (blah blah blah) but ultimately I’m in a seriously privileged position. When I look around at races and I see guys scowling, getting irate and swearing at their parents or the team soigneurs I can’t understand it. They’re doing what they love and getting supported by other people to do it. For me you can’t ask for any more than that.

I'm making myself at home here in Brittany

So now I’ve got that out my system here’s the schedule for the weekend. Saturday is a race called Etoile de Tressignaux and Sunday is another big one: Manche-Atlantique. My plan is to cruise around on Saturday and hope I get a bit of luck. I’m going to need good legs on Sunday as it sounds like a tough race so that’ll be more of a target for me. Talk to you after the weekend.

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