It was supposed to be a nice easy ride this morning…I had been meaning for a while to head out onto a wee peninsula along the coast road which has a wee climb up a wee hill with marvelous views from the top.

It all started well, my breathing so relaxed it wouldn’t have woken a tribe of slumbering dormice, the air was calm and the trees tall with a hint of a zephyr in their upper branches now been kissed by the rays of the rising sun. Beneath me, the sound of rubber caressing the warming bitumen was rather soothing.

After climbing for about 100m I couldn’t understand why it was becoming increasingly difficult to turn the peddles. I flicked the gear lever in a vain hope I had another gear left, to no avail. The dormice had now long since cleared off as my breathing was soon the only thing I heard, while my legs were lamenting every revolution, I began lamenting my decision and contemplated making a hasty retreat back to a better time and place.

Push on and out of the saddle now pushing hard on the cranks, sweat is coming and not just a trickle, with no wind to cool it, rivers are bursting their banks. I sit back in the seat and pull hard on handlebars doing whatever I can to keep forward momentum and in doing so I see I’m lifting the front wheel off the ground. I pull a little harder and it lifts a good couple of inches. I laugh as you would at a bad joke.

Still no sign of the summit, the easy ride is a distant memory but just as the sweat that had been gathering above my sunglasses breaks free and gushes forth like a scene from the Dam Busters, temporarily blinding my vision, I see the road flattening out, I fumble for my water bottle and try to gather strength to extricate my shoes from their clips. And it’s all over…a miserly 2km 10%avg with 19% max.


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