To ride or not to ride – An internal monologue

Cycling brain

The conversation between head and body when you’ve been cycling too much.

Head to body: I’m up for this, let’s have it!

Body to head: I’m not so sure, I’m a little achy. We cycled three big days back to back this week.

Head: That’s true but I feel great, come on, stop your whining and let’s get out there. Rule 5 yeah?

Body: Rule 5? How old are you? I thought you were the wise one?

Head: OK, you’re right, that was a bit infantile. It’s just bants though ain’t it?

Body: Bants? I’d check my playground dictionary for a definition but I’m too tired.

Head: Look, the weather is great, let’s go out and enjoy it, the summer’s been miserable so far.

Body: Very true although I’m still tingling a little from the sun. Can’t think why, perhaps because we were out riding all day for three days this week.

Head: Christ, anyone would think I was asking you to ride LEJOG or something, it’s just a Sunday social ride with the club.

Body: Is that the same club ride that motors back into London and has me hanging on for dear life?

Head: Yeah, but we can just take it at our own pace.

Body: Who’s kidding who here?

Head: Look, how are you feeling?

Body: Not too bad, thanks for asking.

Head: You see, you’ve got one more ride in you, then we’ve got a week off.

Body: Maybe, but do you remember what happened the last time I said I felt good after lots of riding?

Head: Sort of…

Body: Ha! You know all too well what happened, here, look at this [Body shows Head all kinds of line graphs – TRIMP, Fitness and Freshness]. See that line there, that one that says tiredness, how high is that?

Head: Very high [Head drops his head sullenly]

Body: And this one, the one that says Form, how low is that?

Head: All right, all right, don’t bang on about it, what is it with you and numbers anyway, what are you some kind of robot?

Body: You’re the one who thinks I’m sort of robot.

Head: Come on, ride with heart, with feeling, where’s the romance gone?

Body: So it was romantic the last time we overdid things and it took us a month to recover was it?

Head: [sulks]

Body: Look, let’s rest now and then we can head out next week fresh, fit and happy, yeah?

Head: Suppose [bottom lip quivering]

Body: Don’t be like that. It’s August. The Vuelta is on TV tomorrow. You like the Vuelta don’t you?

Head: I guess [head lifting a little]. And we can plan next month’s rides too, get them graphs of yours sorted.

Body: These are your graphs, but yes, we can do that. See you’re feeling better already.

Head and Body sleep together that night and get a good night’s rest. The next day they pass by the cycling clothes Head had made them pre-prepare the night before for the now abandoned club ride. They’re both a little sad to see the kit. Head looks at the time.

Head: We could still make it…

Body: Don’t be silly. Let’s have breakfast, come on, treat me to some eggs and bacon. Protein, it’ll make me stronger and we’ll soon be back out on the roads.

Head says nothing although throughout the day he continues to ask Body how he’s feeling. Body suggests sneaking out for a late evening ride would undo all their hard work and Head knows body is right but he just can’t accept the truth and he can’t understand why.

Behind the scenes, hidden from view is Heart, pulling the strings that cloud Head’s judgement.

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10 thoughts on “To ride or not to ride – An internal monologue

    1. Hi Esteban, you’re welcome to republish an extract with a link to this article but I’d prefer not to have the full article republished on the web (Google doesn’t like duplicate copy!)


    2. Thanks! I will just post an extract and the reference to your blog. Is something I plan to write in my blog and I would like to have part of this. Regards!.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This post really hit a familiar point for me. I speak as someone who overdid it (just slightly) and now has to stay off the bike for at least another month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its so easy to go for just one more ride or a quick spin but it all adds up unless you’re in active recovery mode which is very, very slow! Hope you get back on the bike and in shape again soon enough. I’ve started taking a week’s rest every 3 weeks. It’s working really well to manage fatigue and keep mentally keen to ride.

      Liked by 1 person

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