Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cranky Time

While riding today with a couple friends, it dawned on me that there is a time, usually late in a ride, but almost always late in a ride that occurs late in a training block that tempers get a little, uhhh, short. Hence, the title...cranky time.

There are numerous ingredients that go into the mix to create this situation. Take a group of two or more, introduce a challenging ride and include plenty of fatigue, either acute or chronic, plus a slightly fresher/stronger rider and you have the perfect storm. The rider that is feeling better than his/her counterparts has only to ride "a half wheel" ahead for a few miles or push an extra 10W up a roller and the tempers flare!

Without going into who was to blame today for making me think about cranky time, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite episodes. Not oddly, as I have trained more often with her than any other person, Danielle was present (and "the cranky one" on one occasion) for both stories.

The first time was during a very hot and long training ride one Summer day very late in a training block for her and I made the mistake of suggesting that perhaps she should drink a bit more...bad idea. She explained in a tone most never hear from her that I was the last person that should EVER tell someone to drink...she muttered something about me being the worst in terms of hydration she'd ever encountered. To this day, I get crap from her for it.

The other time was while we were riding back with Jimbo from the Carter Lake Loop in Colorado. On this day, I was feeling particularly good and Jimbo was starting to feel the effects of several days riding as we headed South back towards Boulder. To be honest, I was feeling better than good...4 hrs into the day, on 'sticky roads' with a slight cross-wind, I was drilling it.

When we finally made it back to the light on Broadway, as we stopped, Jimbo exclaimed "Are we done with the f-ing team time trial?" The full magnitude of his crankiness was apparent when he added, "5 miles ago, I was going to put your luggage at the curb!"

Needless to say, after having been off the bike for far too long and having not ridden hard enough or long enough in 2 months, I am acutely aware of the animosity that can surface and am being especially careful not to yell at a good friend, "Dude, slow the F**K down!"