Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Moi....Le Domestique

So I don't know when this happened, but it has happened. On my usual route home from work today, I encountered 3 fellow cyclists who all used me as a wind breaker. I became an amateur domestique for the masses. 

These chaps all differed in cycling class from a largish man on a racer to an athlete on a single speed fixy. The most notable user of my slipstream was the aforementioned single speeder. In truth I had done well to keep up him with from Tottenham Court Road. I tracked him for about 3 miles, going through a loop of catching him at traffic lights and allowing him to move away off the mark when the lights reverted to green. I managed to finally overtake him going over Blackfriars bridge and remained in front for about a mile. But as I approached a flyover just after Elephant & Castle roundabout, I looked behind me to find the single speeder right on my back tyre and looking chilled. I moved into the single lane which mounted the flyover, and just as I got into a comfortable position, off he went. He absolutely nailed me up the minature climb. I felt like I had been used and abused. I sat up on my bike and had a little think about what had just happened. 

I initially thought about him not really seeing it as a competition, but the man looked back down at me as he hit the summit (I say summit, it is about a 20ft climb, with an ave gradient of 1%) and I swear he grinned!

This happened to me two more times today, but neither of them were able to get away from me like the single speeder did. I learned my lesson. 

I momentarily thought it was me going to slow which caused these situations, but in all three cases it wasn't that the cyclists were struggling for room to overtake me. They were just competitive devils like myself. That is why in the latter of the three situations, I refused to let the cyclist into my slipstream by moving (safely) into the middle of the road and saying to him "go on then". He quickly backed off. 

Game on London. I am no Chris Froome to a city of Bradley Wiggins'. 

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