Readers, forgive me for I have sinned. For over a year now I’ve been trying to find the courage to unburden myself of this particular incident. What better than to use the 101st post on this blog. I’d love to say it’s something we’ve all done at some point but sadly most people are simply more sensible and not willing to stoop to such a low level for the sake of a small prize.

It was a stunning summers day last year. I’d just gotten back from a very enjoyable steady ride, a few days previously my Uni results had come through and they’d been better than expected, better still I’d just received a brand new TT skin suit in the post. In short life was good. As is so often the case the perfect day was ruined upon opening what was initially an innocent looking email from Strava. The email informed me that a KOM I’d held for a long time had been stolen.

This particular segment had ben very, very hard to take. It had only been right at the very end of the previous summer that I’d managed it with one of those lung busting efforts that makes you feel like you’re going to pass out. I was not happy. To add insult to injury my time had been beaten by a rather impressive twenty seconds.

Oh how I tossed and turned that night, replaying the segment over and over again in my head and trying to come up with ways in which I could take back my title. At that point I really, really should have left it however my competitive nature succeeded in getting the better of me. On my commute to work the following morning I couldn’t help but notice how perfect the direction of the wind was.  The one nice thing that particular boss ever did for me was to let me have that afternoon off due to the shop being quiet. Yes ladies and gentleman, I left work early mainly so as to try and get a Strava KOM. This in itself would have been worthy of confession but sadly there is more to the story.

When I got home I didn’t hesitate to prepare the Foil for an impulsive attempt to reclaim the crown. That is where it starts getting… um… sad. Off went the bottle cages, taking a drink with me would inevitably add weight and compromise aerodynamics. I changed the inner tubes to latex ones and gave the chain a coat of special hydrodynamic lube, honesty more attention to detail than went into preparation for an average race. I know what you’re thinking, this is a bit extreme but not too bad in the great scheme of things. Just wait.

It was sitting there on my bed, still in the packaging and practically begging to used. So it was that without so much as a thought I put on my new skinsuit. A road racing speedsuit might have been acceptable but this was dedicated TT model, long sleeves and no pockets – the works. I came to the conclusion that if I was going to go aero I might as well complete the package. On went my aero helmet and overshoes. To all intents and purposes I was in full TT gear.

I don’t even want to think about how stupid I must have looked heading out in that particular apparel. Such things really, really should only be warn when you have a number pinned to your back. To make maters worse I didn’t even bring the essential spares; if I punctured there would have been no choice but to walk home. Maybe, maybe if I managed to take the segment it would be justified. It was not. It still haunts me to this day that I missed out by a grand total of two seconds, granted I managed to take two other KOM’s in the process but they were consolation prizes at best.

To summarise I made a complete fool of myself in vain. I hope that by reading this you can learn from my mistakes, which is to say the perfect example of what you should never do that I have illustrated above.

Thanks for reading


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