Why Strava, Lance Armstrong and Rule 5 will be the death of me

I did a 170km ride yesterday, in an average temperature of 32°C. On a mountain bike. Because Strava wanted me to.

I rode the MTB because the weather in general has been thrashing rain alternating with periods of blasting humidity – and I didn’t want to be caught out in a potential downpour on my road bike, since that thing is frankly terrifying in the rain.

But that’s not the thing that’ll kill me.

When I arrived home, I had – not surprisingly, given the distance and temperature – some issues with chamois-area soreness. In my house are several tubes of a topical corticosteroid (prescribed to my girlfriend but sitting unopened in a drawer) which, had I used it, would have cleared up the problem a treat. However whenever I see the words “topical corticosteroid”, I think of Lance-fucking-Armstrong and can’t use it. So I have to HTFU and, at best, use a simple moisturiser or chamois cream

So I’m still sore. But that’s not the thing that’ll kill me.

This week, the day after I complete the Quarq Power Trip Challenge, Strava again wants me to hit a goal on the bike – this time it’s 15 hours in the coming week. I could simply decline the challenge and ride in moderation, given that the opening race of my season is due for this coming Saturday. But rule 5.

So, tired as I was, and sore as I was, I was back on the bike this morning, wincing all the way and averaging roughly 5km/h slower than my usual commute pace.

In and of itself, that’s not the thing that’ll kill me

It’s all of it together – which combines to form a thing we call “cycling”.

That’s what’ll be the death of me.

See you after race weekend, folks, I’m off to prep the bike for a few more hours in the saddle.


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