Commuted into work by bike today. The typical route from Yarmouth to Portland via Middle Road. The weather was perfect and I felt good.
My statistics in this morning were:
- 14.14 miles
- 0:46:12 (hr:min:sec)
- 18.3 mph average speed.
The whole trip right through the stats are the usual. Today however there was a plot twist during this otherwise normal bike commute.
I was just starting off from a traffic light (yes Ma, I stop at traffic lights) in the last 0.3 mile or so on Preble Street, when a guy on a white single speed in road racing style clothes buzzed past me. I immediately stood, pumped to get up to speed and shouted 'CHALLENGE'. He was staying just ahead of me as we were traveling at 27 mph on flat road. Too high of a speed for me to sprint and overtake him.
Then for the first time I really understood and felt how & why being behind a leader gives you the tactical advantage. I could see he was on a single speed bike. I could see his pedal strokes and that he was working hard to stay ahead. I could see him looking back to check form. I also knew that the road was about to pitch up and he would surely loose some momentum and slow.
He did, and by the time we hit the next traffic light, I had him.
Before the light turned and we went our separate ways I said something like 'Have a nice day or that was fun.' Whatever I said it started off the day with a great little friendly sprint challenge.
Thanks to the dude on the white single speed with the flavor-saver goatee.