After getting a bit more work done with the team, photographer Andy Jones and I got down to the serious business of riding our bikes this afternoon, but time had ticked by and we didn?t get going until gone four.
We set our sights on getting to the Cura monastery (near Llucmajor) and back, but without much daylight left we were forced set off at a fair old pace. The coast road south out of S?Arenal is a long 4km drag which acts as a nice warm up; that is of course if you?re not hanging on to someone?s wheel for grim death.
Not only were my legs still feeling more like blocks of wood than parts of my body after yesterday?s ride with Team High Road, but Andy was riding like the wind. Even though Andy doesn?t race, he does train with some very good riders up in Sheffield and is as fit as a butcher?s dog.
In fact, if you look up ?fit as a butchers dog? in the Dictionary of English Sayings and Phrases (printed by Oxford University Press), you?ll see the phrase actually originates from the mid 1980?s and an acquaintance of Andy?s, who he used to train with.
Even when we turned on to a flat, sheltered road Andy was still ripping my legs off as I sat glued to his back wheel. It wasn?t that I didn?t want to do a turn on the front, it was simply that I couldn?t. Actually, I did do one turn, unfortunately Andy blinked and missed it.
My view of Andy for much of the ride
I was trying to save some energy in order to unleash a devastating attack on the 5km climb to the Cura monastery, but with the sun rapidly going down we decided we were cutting it too fine and turned back for home.
The route back was a very gradual downhill, and I was hoping this would result in an easy ride. But all that happend was that Andy rode even faster than on the way out. We came back to S?Aranel along the motorway service road where I hatched my cunning plan for a final stab at glory. I would continue to sit on Andy?s wheel (the cunning part being he wouldn?t notice anything different) until the final sprint for the sign.
I?d like to be able to call myself a sit in sprinter. The problem is, I can?t sprint, so I just sit in. Despite Andy’s superior fitness, I’m proud to announce I did win the sprint, but I think this was more down to the fact that Andy didn?t know there was one. But you know what they say, ?a win?s a win.?
The climb that never was: The sun goes down on the road to Cura Monestary