UNIVERSAL TRUTH OF CYCLING #9: “PASSING ANOTHER CYCLIST” BREATHING.
Of all the egregious displays of the cyclist’s fragile ego (and let’s be honest, there are plenty) this one is up there. Here’s what we’re talking about:
You’re climbing. One of those hills that’s so intimidating it has a name…like “widowmaker” or “quad buster” or “the three bitches” (they always have names like these). You’re majorly sucking wind, using every single milliliter of your lung capacity.
But then…you spot something up ahead. Oh, is that another cyclist up there? It is.
Time to reel ‘em in.
But you couldn’t possibly let him or her know that you’re out of breath. So as you near the other cyclist you let off the gas juuuust a tad and do whatever it takes to catch your breath. Massive gulps of air. Mop the sweat off your brow. Gotta make this hill seem effortless. The goal is to make it appear as if this hill only requires about ¼ of your lung capacity. You take one last, big gulp of air, hold your breath, put on your best “I just sidled up to you at a cocktail party” voice and…
“Hello there…on your left…nice frame…so, where you riding today?…me? Today’s a recovery day so just an easy 40 or so…well, have a good one…”
And as soon as they’re comfortably out of sight you spend 4 miles gasping for air until…is that someone up ahead?