THE COMPETITIVE URGE STRIKESWas on the last leg of the run into Aomori when way up ahead I chanced to see a cyclist pull into the lane and start. At first I thought he may have been a cycle tourist as he seemed wide. After a while and as I began to slowly close on him I realised he was wearing some sort of clothing, like a judo uniform , something that caught the breeze and billowed out. I soon became obvious they he was acutely aware that I was behind and it seemed his intention to keep me back there , in my place. Red rag to a bull — as they say .
The road was smooth but undulating and my speed would drop away on the small climbs.
Finally I was on to him , he was riding a racing bike , and as I passed him I smiled giving him my best ” Konnichiwa”
He quickly sped up and sat on my wheel for a while then took off as if to say this Gaijin will not be able hang with me. He quickly gained 50 metres as I struggled with the gradient.
The competitive urge , usually dormant and restrained rose to the surface and I took up the challenge. I settled into anaerobic threshold mode as the road ahead had a slight rise and gritted my teeth and held on. The aero bars helped lots — he had misjudged his attack as it crested a rise then settled slightly down. Heart pumping I gained and eventually sat on his wheel , Two can play this game sucker !” He surged but was unable to drop me. As my batteries recharged I readied for my attack and then dropped back off his wheel 10 metres or so then ATTACK —-
By the time I was abreast of him I was dropping down a gear and cruised by giving it 110% A sweet moment as it was my turn to drop him. With 2500 km banked in my legs it was time to make a big withdrawal .
Cruised on into the city of Aomori and dropped off the pressure as controlled intersections forced stops. Eventually I pulled over and and he came past again.
” Sayonara —- BUT you couldn’t drop and old man towing a 20 kg suitcase i said ! ” I politely smiled as he disappeared ahead .
The little moments that make life on the bike special 😊