If you’d told me four years ago I’d be able to stay comfortably within a bunch averaging over 40km/h in a 45-minute race, and even take a turn on the front, I’d have thought you’d been sipping from the blue grease tube. But that’s exactly what happened last night at Eastern Creek Dragway, my first ever experience of night racing – and fastest ever race. Admittedly, conditions were perfect and the hotdog circuit is pretty much pancake flat. But for a bunch of C-Graders we really were flying. And to my considerable surprise I coped just fine.
Don’t know about you, but that’s one of the things I love about riding. Every now and then you find yourself way out of your comfort zone, be it intentionally or through a lack of any real alternative, and you pleasantly surprise yourself. Sure, it might hurt a bit. But you don’t implode or get dropped as you think you might. Rather, you find a way to deal with it and keep going; emerging as a stronger rider for the experience, and willing to perhaps push yourself even further next time, fortified by the knowledge you can often achieve a lot more than you give yourself credit for.
On a similar note, I saw a fascinating documentary about the Olympic Games the other night. In one segment it detailed how sports scientists were able to trick a group of elite cyclists into performing at their maximum power levels for 20% longer than they thought they could, by nothing more scientific than slowing their clocks down. Instead of busting a gut for 10 minutes, they actually did it for 12. All of them. Just goes to show what a powerful thing the human mind can be.