Impromptu Training Ride

I had a brilliant day today. I have become friends with the CEO of the local Cannondale dealership. I ride a Cannondale and he has been massively supportive in terms of B2B.

I went to return some cleats he had lent me this morning prior to going on my ‘long ride’. I had shoe problems a couple of weeks ago and he gave me the cleats from his shoes!

Anyway, we went on a ‘long’ 15 mile ride across the Hangang River to Namsan Mountain, a shortish but rather steep climb of about 1,000 feet.

He is a perverse cyclist. He is very timid in traffic and goes along the flat ridiculously slowly. He gets to an incline and off he goes. He steams ahead of me on the steep bits as I have no low gears. He does that and he also has a GBP6,000 bike and weighs 20kg less than me as well!

He then runs out of said steam and gets off and walks! I, on the other hand, power slowly, Ullrich like, up the mountain.

The last section, is particularly steep and lasts about 100m at 20% gradient. I have to sprint to get up. The pain in the thighs is indescribable. I got off at the top, sat and winced in pain for a minute or so.

After a prolonged cafe stop – there are fantastic views of Seoul from the top – we started our return journey to the bike shop.

We went along the river path and he asked whether I would like to watch the wake boarders. I secretly thought that I would rather have a go than watch.

We watched for a few minutes and he suggested we have a go! I smiled. We stripped off our cycling gear and jumped in the river!

It has been sixteen years since I last water skied. I remembered half the advice from back then i.e. let the rope pull you and do not try to stand up.

I could not remember the other half i.e. keep your knees bent when the boat starts. The instructions barked in Korean were lost on me!

As soon as I had a translation, I was off but it bloody hurt my back and forearms. I had forgotten that pain also. My long ride did not materialise but it was a brilliant day. I just wish Katie was with me now. M


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