The past few weeks have shown a solid routine developing: A solid mid-week rip round the Second Ring Road. The Second Ring Road is a thing of absolute beauty, not to mention there’s a whole segment that wraps its way around it in both directions.
From this, you have two beautiful, undisrupted, and hotly disputed 30km segments. Unique in that the route is urban, and is subjected to the rhythm of the day’s traffic. The segments are a testament to lesser respected skill of taking calculated risks amidst a throng of vehicles. Clocking a good time is not purely dependent upon a rider’s physical speed, but the volume of their guts as well.
Well, that’s not quite right. Riding traffic, it’s presumed that someone, who’s comfortable taking tight squeezes or blindly drafting a trolley, are ballsy. Really it’s a separate skill set, not too indifferent from a fan of DH or riding gran fondos. It’s adrenaline driving a rider to explore the razor’s edge of where decision meets action.
That’s what really wows me with this loop. Beyond having the big three in order (mind, lungs, legs), you’ve also got to know the loop intimately. Like bobsledders memorizing the turns to a jamming descent by practicing in a stationary sled, one who hopes to crown the Second Ring with a KOM has to know it, for all its dips and turns, its bridges and tunnels, and its traffic and open lanes.
Don’t get me wrong. Fitness helps, as well as someone else who’s willing to run a few red lights and share the load. Most importantly, there’s the value of a routine. It’s not often you can take a stab at something difficult and get it the first go. And that’s what I’m digging most about this mid-week rip.
I’ve a good gauge for where I’m at, and what it will take. I’ve been through a few trial runs. Now it’s a matter of going from where I’ve been floating, to where I can carry home that sweet, sweet, golden, digital crown.