One of the things I truly enjoy about fitting cyclist to their bikes is the opportunity to talk at length with them. Everyone has a story, and in the process spending three hours with someone, you do get to know them and their story pretty intimately. When I find myself in the company of a fitting subject who is bright, worldly and has a lot to say, that's even better. The ability of engage in good conversation is one of the prerequisites of the job....and a side benefit.
I was working with this gentleman yesterday was really sharp and insightful, about a variety of things: how the prevalence of doping in cycling...or baseball as another example...is subject to the ebbs and flows of its own internal culture and peer group, how young athletes peak early because of overtraining and eventually burn out, and multitude of other things. He displayed what I thought was a skilled bit of laterally agile thinking when he described the bicycle culture and experience to its own kind of crucible. I delighted in the reference because I actually got it.
Having taught English in what now seems like another lifetime to high school kids, I do remember my Arthur Miller, and can understand how social pressure, the pressure of of peers, culture and circumstance force us to show our true nature and true character - good and bad. He went on to describe this as one of the attractions of cycling, and cycling long distances and pushing himself both physically and psychologically. In a group ride we can see how different personalities emerge and how each person responds to stress and the competitive impulse.
I would take the analogy a step further. Our excellence and achievement is formed in a crucible of discomfort, one we willingly choose. Raw materials enter, and through the process of heat and pressure, something stronger emerges. Welcome to the crucible.
- 10 min W/U
- 20 min Tempo/Threshold
- 5x1/2 lap (1:05 min) L6 / 1/2 lap L1
- 20 min Over/Under Paceline Drills
- 3x1/4 lap Seated Max @ 90-100 RPM