Monday, January 16, 2012

crash into me, baby

Fact: I hate Dave Matthews, but this blog Title is applicable for 2 reasons.

1. Annie is a huge Dave fan and always has been. Despite this flaw I am so proud of her for PR'ing her second marathon in a month. I think she has to be doping.

2. I actually did crash this weekend.

If you had asked me last week what the scariest type of line out there was, I would probably have said "line of cocaine." Nope, that is incorrect, I now know the scariest kind of line out there is a pace line.

In my life, I have participated in team sports (basketball, softball) as well as individual sports (track, tennis) and I have always been much happier in sports done alone because:

1. I dislike most people
2. If I suck I don't want to hold you back
3. If you suck I don't want you to make me look bad

Triathlon is a great sport for the loner. Yes, you can train with a group and help each other to be better but come race day you have to complete that entire race on your own (unless you are doing a relay then that's different). When you cross that finish like you know, YOU accomplished that win and if you didn't finish, YOU didn't alone. Of course there are other variables on race day like weather, tripping over people taking pictures on the course etc, but for the most part even with your family and friends helping you, you still do the race alone.

I just assumed cycling was the same. It is not. I had no idea what a "team effort" it takes to cycle efficiently in a pace line and that you are essentially trusting these people with your life. In a pace line, you can't see around you and have to trust the people in front of you to tell you what's coming up, to not brake suddenly, and to be your eyes. This terrifies me. My coach said that you can really learn a lot about yourself by cycling and I am seeing this. It was really hard for me to trust these people some of them who I had never met before.

I did OK with the pace line. I tried not to get too close, but I felt much better when I was behind a guy I knew. Sadly, I did go too fast at one point and crashed into his tire. Thankfully I went down, but he did not. No injuries because I had bike sleeves on (I highly recommend them for sun and road rash protection)

The ride was about 25 miles total and next week will be closer to 50.


  1. completely understand. I actually like to be at the back of the line or in the middle. Back is better for me. I was a leader and I sucked.

  2. You had me at hating Dave Matthews!

    Glad you didn't get hurt in the crash. I took a bad spill last year and still have the scars to prove it. Cyclists always say their are two types of them: those that have crashed and those that will!

  3. I am ignoring the Dave Matthews comment. I am glad you were not hurt when you crashed. However, this post is just one more reason I can't get back on the bike.

  4. Since I am not a pure cyclist, I am not a big fan of a pace line. I ride with buddies and a few of us use aerobars so we have a healthy respect for the "gap". Since I ride a tri bike, when I close in on someone, I often offset slightly to the right or left.