Sometimes you chase rabbits…

Got out to ride in the morning today, while the weather was still reasonable. It’s been getting really hot around here lately, and riding in the afternoon is not pleasant. But today’s run, along the Mopac time trial route, was great. I have to pass a school to get to the start of the route, but yesterday was the last day of school, so I didn’t have to thread the needle between SUVs parked against the curb, and impatient drivers trying to get by me. It was nice.

Out on Mopac, I hit the lap button on my cyclocomputer, just to compare what I did in the time trial two weeks ago with what I would do when not pushing it. Up ahead in the distance, I saw two bikers, and wondered if I’d be able to catch up to them.

After climbing the only decent hill on the route, I could see that I wouldn’t. They had put some ground between us. I settled back into a comfortable pace.

I made the turn at the ranch road, and hit the return route. The two riders were dots in the distance now, but another solitary cyclist (what’s the literary reference there?*) came into view.

My favorite part of the return route is a long downhill. I got aero, but into a brisk wind I wasn’t setting any speed records. However, the solitary cyclist was making even less headway than I was. I made him my rabbit, and set off on the chase.

At the bottom of the hill, we lose a lot of speed. I shifted into an easier gear and kept the legs pumping. I could see his jersey now — orange — and tried to get close enough to read what it said.

Turning north, we hit a series of lesser hills. He wasn’t trying to push up them. I was. A Camelback covered the logo on his jersey back, but that didn’t matter anymore. “On your left!” I called. As I pulled even with him, I looked over an said a pleasant, “Good morning.” He stared straight ahead and didn’t reply. Hmmph! I accelerated away from him, up the next small hill.

At the top of the route, the neon orange line that signifies the end of the time trial still stood out on the curb. I clicked the lap button again, and turned right to head for the Veloway. When I looked back, my rabbit was far behind.

Every once in awhile, you just have to see what you can do against other bikers. This guy wasn’t in a race, but I could see from his expression when I passed him that he wasn’t too pleased about it, either. I think I also had about 20 years on him, agewise. I was satisfied that the chase, the catch, and the pass had been good for my ride today.

I’ll have to hunt rabbits more often.

*Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,” from “The Return of Sherlock Holmes.” See Wikipedia entry.

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6 thoughts on “Sometimes you chase rabbits…

  1. ah, rabbits. My problem is often that I am finishing a long ride, and have maybe ten or 20 miles to go and am just waiting for another person to come along so I can trade pulls with them and get home maybe a little faster… the problem, though, is that you never come along people going the same speed as you. the people that pass you are going faster (usually too fast) and the people you pass are going way, way too slow. I think some people take naps while riding, really. Anyway you have to be lucky to have a good group of pullers pass you at just a couple MPH faster and also happen to be going the direction of your home.

    When you´re feeling strong, though, a rabbit is good.

  2. Chasing a rabbit will make you go faster. But chase to rabbits and both will escape. Winning and catching are two different things so try focusing on one goal first.

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