I decided to dig out the road bike last night and took a ride that ends with

a six mile long draggy climb. At the start of the climb I caught up with

this recreational cyclist (MTB, muscleman vest, athletic shorts), and me

being in lycra thought I'd better put a spurt on to go past him. Tried my

best to disguise heavy breathing as I spoke a cheery 'Hello' and kept my

pace high. Went round a few bends and then checked behind. No sign of

other cyclist. That's a good sign and eased off my pace. Half a mile later

I did a quick check again, and caught site of a bike rounding the corner.

I couldn't possibly have him catch me up (I *was* in lycra!) so picked my

pace up. Obviously I couldn't look back now to check his progress as he'd

know I'd be looking. I picked my pace up as fast as I could. My legs were

screaming. I knew there was still a long way to go on the climb. Slowly I

could hear the whirr of tyres and click of gears. How could he possibly be

catching me? I wanted to look to see how close he was but couldn't. I

wanted to fall off my bike and my legs wanted to fall off my body.

Then I realised the indignity of having this 'recreational' cyclist come

back and pass me again. I was going as fast as I could, but obviously it

wasn't enough. I glanced right as he started to come past to realise that

it wasn't Mr Recreational but in fact Mr Super-Fit-Shaven-Legged-Roadie on

his Colnago. "Hi" I gasped, nearly falling off my bike. "Evenin'" he

responded, not even out of breath and I then let him disappear off over the


I'd been racing a guy who obviously took his road racing seriously. What a