My last couple of MTB outings in public have been horrible. I tore my rear mech off last weekend, and I’m still trying to get over the awful race at Flavignac. I’ve been feeling as though all form has deserted me, like as if the fabulous form I had at the end of last year was some kind of magic thing that could never happen again. As though I’d sucumbed to eternal mediocrity destined to slog for evermore going nowhere fast. 🙁
However, this weekend at the 11th Les Copains d’Abord 40km rando things were back to normal. I was back feeling the ‘good pain’ that comes from hammering through the chemins like a nutter trying to go faster and faster just because it feels so damn good.
I teamed up with Davey, one of the young lads from the lead group last weekend. I dunno what they feed him on, but he looks bigger and stronger everytime I see him. Anyway, despite howls of derision about it not being a race we hared off. Actually Davey hared off, and I chased after him hanging on to his wheel. The trails were very wet in places but we had great fun. Once you’re wet and mucky it doesn’t seem to matter any more. Blasting through the mud and puddles hopping that they won’t be tractor axle deep.
Young Davey had me chewing on the handlebars a couple of times when he turned on the power. I repayed him by going to the front and hammering through a couple of the singletrack sections that I know really well. We laughed through gritty teeth! 🙂
First 40km riders home in just under two hours I thanked Davey for the ‘bon entrainment’ (good training). Also, I asked Davey to remember me to his parents and to tell them that he and I had arrived ‘ensemble’.