The pain cycle

Pick up a cycling magazine or drop yourself in the middle of any pack of young male cyclists and you’ll hear this message loud and clear: to make the most gains in this sport, you have to push yourself as far as you can, and then repeat. I went in to the sport living this mantra, and boy did I work my ass off. I showed up at group rides, the only B rider, and was forced to hang on to the wheels of the jet engine A group. On the mountain bike, I put in full days with a group of guys, forcing myself to dig into the red zone until my hamstrings couldn’t take it anymore. And on my road bike, I trained for an ambitious first century, one with 8,000 feet of climbing in the sweltering August heat.

Am I crazy? Looking back, I’m beginning to think so. Continue reading