Il a été une courbe d’apprentissage , que je l’ai aimé et accepté avec beaucoup de vigueur
I used to run. Quite well actually but a new path has been placed in front of me this year, ‘La culture du cyclist’. It’s something that Mr. Pickard has been trying to teach me (with minimal success). His love of France is something I don’t understand; the pure arrogance of the nation confuses me. Or at least I didn’t understand it. There is something in me that screams French, possibly from a previous life. ‘Pour gagner il faut suffrir’ was the first little snippet of this I experienced: ‘To win you must suffer’. This resonates so deeply within my psyche that I bought straight into the leadership of our Road Captain, Pickard.
I’ve spent many winters training undertaking a hibernation process before the spring starts to bounce and chances begin to arise to show the fruits of the personal ‘hibernation’ period. The mantra I have learnt this winter though has really gone with me and almost been my own inner personal motivation. In running it used to be the thought of ’46 seconds, 46 seconds’ but that means nothing. It is just a number. ‘Pour gagner il faut surffrir’ has a soul, a deeper feeling.
It is all very well having personal battles but in LLB Racing we have a team. My introduction brings me nicely to what I really want this post to be about, the interesting and seemingly brilliant mix of characters this team has brought together.
– Edd, the Captain on the road. The guy is the grumpiest man in ‘la bunch’ (he’ll hate my interpretation of the peloton), but my stupid side has cracked his front, his rocky exterior. He only puts on a front if truth be told. I’ve learned that he loves the arrogance and brash ways of the French. He wants to be French, but he’s not. It’s a ‘defect’ that is clearly visible through his lovely LeisureLakesBikes jersey.
– Elliot is certainly an interesting character. Only in his early 20s he seems determined to do things with his cycling. He is a very good rider and one I have had the pleasure to ride with a lot this winter. He has taught me a lot about the ways of a cyclist, generally by grumbling that his power is too high or, in English, ‘Jono stop pushing so hard’. Generally this is muttered as he floats past me with his silk like style.
– Joe. I haven’t had the pleasure of riding with him too much but I write this on the back of a pretty good training ride yesterday, and you know what, I like what I see. He gets on the front and that engine kicks in. He is bigger than Edd and Elliot, inviting me to tuck right in behind which I think will be fruitful in races. On top of that he is seemingly a top guy !
Next weekend we ride Darley Moor, or at least me, Edd and Joe do ! It’s not for Elliot, he’s concentrating on bigger things ! I learnt a lot riding on my own last year at Darley Moor, but with the things I have learnt this winter and morale that is high within the team I think we have a great chance of doing really well from the off. I feel happy to sacrifice my legs for these guys because I think it will be returned at some point. It certainly is a different feeling to running track where the guys you spend hours with training you want to beat. You want to beat them probably more than anyone, to show you are top dog. These guys and this cycling culture however makes me want to win as a team. Who cares what I do ! If I win great, if I crawl over the line on my hands and knees carrying my bike over my shoulders knowing that Joe won then that will ding dang do for me !
So, there you have it the team. We have all been training absolutely terribly this winter going, as all racing cyclists apparently say at this time of year, really badly. I’m pretty sure you will see come summer Leisure Lakes will be at the back. At least the morale will be high and the banter will be flowing.
P.S Broyage Raisins apparently translates to crushing grapes, apparently as I pedal I make wine. Take what you will from that, but I see it as I am closely related to Jesus.