We've written about relativity and normalisation quite a lot in previous posts. 200km rides seem unachievable until they're not. Rolling out of the house at 06:00 seems outrageously early until it's the new normal.
A few of The Collective have started winding those early starts back, getting out onto the empty roads earlier and earlier, allowing those pre-work kilometres to creep higher and higher.
And now it's become a thing: The Pre-Work 100 Club. We're not out to pummel PB's or snatch Strava segments. We're just doing it to find out if we can.
Collective Member Owen Blandy offers a touch more insight to the apparent idiocy.
Milestones are significant in our lives. We inherently need benchmarks, yardsticks, goals, objectives and challenges to gauge our own abilities and measure ourselves against.
So, when I receive a message to the effect of “Fancy a pre-work 100k next Tuesday?”, the challenge has been set.
Most of the time we (certainly I) ride with no set distance or benchmark in mind, just a route we wish to follow or a time we need to be back for.
But every so often, we need to shake the tree -- to mess things up just to see what happens.
And so it begins:
Wake up at 4am.
Don the cycling kit you carefully laid out the night before.
Hit the streets.
Enjoy the rarity of empty roads through the heart of a furiously busy city.
See the lone blinking light in the distance and know it's your friends already lapping the park.
Hide the clock, turn the pedals and watch the last of night turn to dawn turn to day.
Coffee (maybe two. And a pastry).
Quietly bask in post-ride euphoria, knowing you've bagged triple figures before others have even finished their Weetabix.
Owen rides for East London Fixed and he doesn't just go far, he goes fast, representing them in a number of city-based crits and races throughout the year. We choose to join him in the saddle on his slower, longer-distance days and cheer him from the sidelines when he's racing.