I broke my wrist a few weeks ago, as it would be, the week before I would have started racing this season. I spent the cold winter months locked on the trainer, focused, confident in my strength, that it was going to be a good start to the spring. I had started to realize my potential, started realizing my ability to suffer, to dig, to fight.
And it’s pushed off because I stupidly broke my wrist.
But I still feel the roads in my legs. I’ll drive the rides I want to ride and my quads will tighten, my calves will pulse, my heartbeat will speed up. I can feel every short climb I’ve done on the Saturday morning World Championship’s course. I can feel the accelerations of the Rocket Ride. I can feel the roads deep inside my body, inside my soul, attached to them in some spiritual way. Riding, training, racing — it’s like going to church. It’s a set of guidelines that I live by, my body only an engine to push the bicycle as hard and fast as I can. Rapha imprints on their PRO clothing “Forcats De La Route” — Prisoner’s of the Road.
I’m not upset about the wrist because I feel like I’m losing my fitness. I still get on the trainer, albeit begrudgingly, and not as much as I would like, but my fitness is still there. I’m upset about the wrist because I can’t pour myself out over the road, I can’t leave my trail of sweat on the routes I know so well. I can’t be out there in the pack, the hum of the freewheels, the clicks of the derailluers, the squeal of mal-adjusted brake pads. I have to make penance for the other things in my life, I need to cleanse myself, I need to leave it all out on the road.
So I drive these routes, sometimes intentionally, others not, and I feel the roads in my legs.