How to… be mis­er­able

Cycling Weekly - - FLAMME ROUGE -

Jan­uary is the best time of the cy­cling year to bask in mis­ery. You’re a lit­tle un­fit, the weather is cold and change­able, but the sea­son is close enough that every­one else will start to go a bit faster.

Make sure you don’t wear quite enough. You don’t want to be in­stantly freez­ing, what you want is a slow drop in body tem­per­a­ture over the course of two or three hours. Ide­ally you should dress in non-wa­ter­proof kit, and en­counter the start of a large band of rain at your fur­thest point from home. Use a rain­fall radar app to help work this out.

Try to find a faster group to ride with, so you don’t have to go to the trou­ble of knack­er­ing your­self with­out as­sis­tance. But check that they’re not so fast that they’ll just ride off and leave you — you’ll want the full ef­fect of re­peated overex­er­tions, wretched col­lapses, and then the re­peated em­bar­rass­ment when every­one else has to wait for you. It’s a form of in­ter­val mis­ery, and it’s much more ef­fec­tive than steady-state mis­ery.

Don’t try to fake a punc­ture to get a rest. You’ll just look like a mo­ron when the whole group stops and you have to try to let the tyre down be­fore you can ‘fix’ it. Also, noth­ing at­tracts the at­ten­tion of the gen­uine punc­ture fairy like a fake de­fla­tion.

Don’t eat enough. In fact, don’t eat any­thing. Don’t take any means of buy­ing food. And why not try out a new sad­dle?

Go on... make your­self grumpy this Jan­uary

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