We’re half way through our second interval of 130 percent – Dave Mercer is on the beautiful Time frame next to me, pushing a cadence I’m flabbergasted at and talking easily. With my shoulders hunched over the bars I begin to focus again on the dead pixel that is sitting just to the left of my Watt output on the screen. The interval is finished and my legs stop. Just a few more seconds and we’ll be back up there again.
Dave’s looking smooth. He’s hit my numbers and then some. As he spins back up, his words turn to bike racing in the 90’s. Specifically, a Durand where him and two other Flander’s teammates dominated in the final miles of the race. Laughing about the finale, I’m beginning to go back into oxygen debt. The dead pixel once again my only concern. The world is getting smaller but still the stories keep coming. They’re comforting, in a way, reminding me that a minute and half isn’t so long. He talks of getting up every morning to get a ride in before work and getting out almost every evening. In a round about way, I guess he’s describing his current form. The ease at which he makes circles is disconcerting.
Dave turns his conversation to coaching me, pushing me harder than I’ve gone before. His stories of sacrifice inspire me to make my own. My body aches and begs me to stop, but it’s not going to do a lick of good. Mercer’s experience helps make up for my own lack and with it I finish the night stronger than ever. We shake hands and part ways with my legs just a little more wise than they were before.
The circles come easy on the ride home.