Pain is Fun.

Tuesdays are quickly becoming my favorite days of the week.
 
That's the day I jump in with the Destroyer ride and get my teeth kicked in.

Instead of riding around alone, I chew on my stem in a paceline that seems solely created to make me hurt.

This requires some next-level douchebaggery.
  
When I rotate to the front and it's my turn to pull, I slowly ramp up the power. The increase is gradual enough that the guys behind barely notice it until it's cooked. KInda like when you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly bring it to a boil. They're so happy when I pull off that they don't notice that my pull was much shorter than everyone else's. They're just happy it's over. As I slip to the back, the guy on the front is cooked that the pace slacks off to below the median for a while, allowing me to recover. Instead of a steady, mind-searing slog, I reduce my exposure to a brief period of hurt before I slip back into the draft. I'm a complete ass.

When the hills come up, I position myself so I can spin by the paceline. When I have a big enough gap, I'll sit up and stretch or casually gaze at the scenery, as if I wasn't dying a thousand deaths from the effort. The intent is that they will be mentally defeated, convinced that I am a superior physical specimen, and will completely overlook the heaving gut splayed out on my top tube.

As a result, I'm known as a "climber". I can't type that with a straight face. These hills are 30 second efforts at best, which is right in my wheelhouse. These are the efforts I practice the most, because they precisely match the maximum duration of my attention span. Recover and repeat. It's not climbing, it's a VO2max interval.

These days, I roll up to a group ride down here and I often hear, "I've heard about you." I brace for an obscenity-laden diatribe about wheel-suckers, but more often I get, "you're the climber." I stifle a laugh and honestly say that I'm not, but they interpret it as false modesty and do their best to grind me into the pavement.

I know the truth, though. 

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