We’ve all been in this paceline, mostly in the red, taking our pulls and tucking in behind to catch our breath. We’ve been pedaling so long, most of us, that we aren’t even really aware how fast we’ve been going. Until now, when we’re being asked to stop, to pull to the side of the road and take a break. For our own good.
It’s surreal, this break in proceedings. It leaves your head spinning, and many in the line wonder what we’re even doing? Shouldn’t we still be hammering? Some of them don’t even know how to stop.
I feel a strange mix of things. Of course, there’s the worry that if we’re not riding, we’ll never get home. How do we get the group up and riding with good discipline again? Will everyone be able to hang with the group?
At the same time, I feel a guilty elation. I have wanted a break. I always want a break. Sometimes, I sit dazed in the saddle, wishing for anything that we could just pull over and sit still in the grass for a moment. Is this a chance to reassess our destination or at least our average watts? I harbor a perhaps misguided hope that we can actually realign our goals now, that we can learn something from this. Otherwise, why have we even been pedaling?
This week’s Group Ride just asks what you think? Are we going to be ok? How long before we rouse ourselves from the verge, reposition the collective chamois, tip-tap back to our bikes, and get the train rolling again? Or is the metaphor just too tortured on a day like today?