Riding on

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Some mornings you just don’t feel like heading out to ride for four hours on your own. Today was one of those mornings, but after 100km’s of pedaling I feel a lot better having done it.

Although it was a fantastic ride with Rob last Sunday, I did manage to exacerbate an old injury. We’d ramped up the pace and exchanged a few blows on a fast, rolling road into Eynsford. Not wanting to hold anything back on our little hit out I suddenly felt a bit of a tweak in my left knee. I can’t repeat my thoughts as I reached down to gently rub my left knee. The only good thing about having an injury for so long is that I know that it will respond well to proper rest, not just reduced miles. So having  been off the bike for most of the week already, and waking up aching from another evening of climbing last night, extending the rest one more day was looking like a good option. This, coupled with the fact that I could have sat at home watching the Tour de France, and England annihilating Australian hopes in the cricket, made staying at home even more tempting. But I didn’t stay in, and I’m glad I didn’t.

I mean, fast forward about 6 weeks from now, waking up somewhere by the road side in central Europe- not riding on will not be an option.  I’m sure we’ll have at least one day where we wake up and feel like we’ve been hit by a truck as the efforts catch up with us. With a schedule to keep to we’ll have to press on, regardless of knee pains, saddle sores and tiredness. Luckily, you don’t have to look too far to find inspiration from some real hard men in the sport of cycling though. In this 100th edition of the Tour are two prime examples, Geraint Thomas and Tony Martin. Both were involved in a crash in the first day of racing , and both will ride into Paris tomorrow. Thomas has battled on to help Chris Froome take the yellow jersey, despite a fractured pelvis. And Tony Martin crushed the field in the first individual time trial and has worked tirelessly for his team, even with a lung contusion and being losing most of the skin on his back in the crash. On taking victory in the time trial Martin was asked “Do you have some skin on your back now?” by ITV’s Ned Boulting. Hard as nails, and it’s hard not to be inspired by such gritty performances.

So that is why I’m glad I brewed that second cup of coffee and then hit the road today, no doubt it won’t all be easy in the coming weeks, but we’ll have to keep going. I also got to ride past “Little Alfie’s Egg Stall” for the second time this week, but there was no sign of any eggs today.

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