Ah, sweet revenge. The shoe was on the other foot as my nephew, who is 30 years my junior, got a taste of some two wheeled pain. Now of coarse, pain is completely subjective as we all have different tolerances to it, but he quickly learned that cycling is not quite as easy as he though it would be.
Let me digress…last week I recommitted on being more consistent on my cycling and running workouts, particularly the running part, as it has been virtually nonexistent over the last four months. I’ve been going out onto Bayshore Boulevard during the early evenings, slowly, and rather painfully, attempting to get my running legs back. My nephew joined me on one outing, easily running circles around my slow, methodical pace, barely breaking a sweat, as I was thumping and sweating my way down the running path.
Throughout the ordeal….I mean run, his trash talk was in high gear, as he chided me about my apparent lack of stamina, chastising my cycling background, refuting that cycling is nowhere as demanding as “real sports” such as running, and basketball.
I swallowed my pride and continued to chase him down the boulevard finally hitting our 5k distance, at which time I invited him to go on an easy ride with me. He didn’t bite right away, as he was just breaking in a new flat bar training bike…apparently it is far too goofy to be caught kitting up and riding a true road bike, but he was up to the task.
About a week later he said he was ready after having done a few days of training laps up and down Bayshore. He is not comfortable on the road, so I brought him up to the Suncoast Trail for a traffic-free, “easy 40 mile ride”. Now to be fair, although he is in very good shape and 30 years my junior, he is not a cyclist and has never ridden anywhere near 40 miles. He has a pretty trick training bike, but it is not on a proper road bike, but then none of that would have any bearing as “cycling is easy”…or so he thought.
We set our goal to 40 miles and headed off down the trail. After an easy low speed warm up, I brought him up to an easy 16 MPH. No problem so far. He asked that I take it up to a normal riding pace, so I quickly accelerated to 20-21 MPH only to look back and find him standing on his pedals, a few blocks behind me. I coasted waiting for him catch up. He obviously recognized a difference in our machines and asked that I gradually bring the pace up to 20 MPH, giving him a “more fair” chance to stay up. So, I repeated the exercise, slowly ramping up to 20 MPH.
Sure enough, he was able to stay with me, but it was at a cost. We weren’t more than five miles into our ride and he was completely soaked through from sweat, mouth agape desperately trying to get in some badly needed oxygen. He held 20 MPH for a good block, or two, and then quickly fell off the pace.
After a rather pitiful excuse of not being used to the saddle, I brought the pace down to 15-16 MPH, leading him down the trail. He asked that I call out the mileage, and was surprised to hear that we were just 6 miles in. He took full advantage of the first rest stop (the Suncoast Trail has a multitude of covered rest stops with cold water along it’s route), as well as every single one from that point on. He maintained his pace well, until we turned around where he got the distinct pleasure of having to ride against the wind. Needless to say, his breaks became far more frequent and his forward momentum dropped into the single digit range (notice I did not call it speed).
At this point he was in survival mode. I had turned us around well before the original designated midpoint, knowing well that there would be no way he would last 40 miles. I also planned ahead and stuffed my jersey pockets full of Nuun and bananas, which he happily consumed every time I offered.
By rides end he had a new found appreciation for cycling as well as very sore ass and tired legs. He asked me “not to invite him out to ride again” as he chewed on a great big piece of very cold humble pie.
Now, all sweet tasting revenge aside, my nephew actually did a great job out on the trail, riding farther and better than I thought he’d be able to. Hopefully his new appreciation of cycling will be both motivating and enduring.
Friday, Oct 4
Route: Suncoast Trail
Ride Time: 2:36:31
Stopped Time: 53:46
Distance: 35.28 miles
Average: 13.52 mph
Fastest Speed: 37.01 mph
Cycle This Month: 35.28 miles
Cycle This Year: 4084.99 miles