Training Ride 101 – Know when to push the Abort Button

Listen to your Body

This post isn’t about me whinging or expecting folks to take pity.  I’ve been dealing with a nasty cold that took hold immediately after this year’s Sub 9 Gravel Grovel.  Good thing it appeared post race!

I took a week off the bike to recover, which is the right thing to do.  This past Sunday, I dipped my toes on a kind of subdued, but fast at times, road training ride.  Certain individuals who are mentioned on this blog regularly who shall remain unnamed, enjoyed hearing and seeing me suffer, hacking up lung contents, breathing through a straw etc.  Said suffering was enhanced because I was completely overdressed.


Tuesday GCX Worlds

Fast forward to Tuesday, December 9, 2014.  I’ve been riding long enough, to know when to take it easy on the bike.  Those times are at the end of the riding season, or if I’m recovering from injury / illness.

Then again, sometimes I don’t listen to common sense or better judgement, and succumb to the temptation of a fun training ride.  Which is what happened tonight.

I knew I was in trouble when I had a coughing fit, riding to the ride.  My thought then was, “it’ll be OK, get this out of your system now, no worries”.


Who needs a Warm Up?

JOM fixes a flat as his friends stand around. Slackers.
JOM fixes a flat as his friends stand around. Slackers.

The ride started.  Flat out from the gun, punctuated by a few attacks on the ROAD sectors, long before the first dirt, limerock and gravel roads.  WTF!  After five  miles of this bollocks, serenity ruled after common sense prevailed, meaning the group was riding the long route, 42 miles in all, and we needed to save our legs.

Dirt Sector #1 came around.  Within two minutes of entering the sector, yours truly had the misfortune of smacking a sizeable rock, front on, which punctured my otherwise bomb proof front wheel instantly, resulting in a limp tyre, and sealant all over the place.

Fortunately, the other seven attendees all huddled around, sharing their LED light as I slowly removed the valve core (with help), ditched the sealant, and inserted a tube into the wheel.  A photo or two was taken of this scene, and will surface soon enough.


And we’re off again

L to R: K-Dogg, Dr Pain, Dr MSG.
L to R: K-Dogg, Dr Pain, Dr MSG.

Post puncture, Pfaff Daddy put the gas down immediately, and quickly opened a gap.  Eager to test my legs, I (JOM) stupidly closed the gap, dragging everyone with me.  That’s when the wheels on JOM’s bike (or body) fell off.

The rider known as Dr Meshugganah (Dr MSG for short), hit the gas hard up the first short hill, gapping everyone.  I hit the gas hard, but off the back.  I wasn’t alone for company.  K-Dogg and one of Gainesville’s young guns, Alex, were both glued to my wheel, until I blew up, and left me for dead.  How unceremonious.

It was about this time, off the back, that coughing fit #2 began and I said to myself… “JOM you stubborn bastard, it’s probably wise for you to ride home, abort the ride”.  Which is what I did.  I bid farewell to my riding companions, wished them a good ride, and sauntered home at a snail’s pace.


What did I learn?

Live to ride another night!
Live to ride another day!

If you think you need another night off, you probably do.  I’m taking another three nights… and days off.

There’s no racing going on until February 2015 (at least for me).

Riding sick can affect your judgement.  Your reaction times are off, and that isn’t the sort of thing anyone needs, particularly in a group riding situation.

I count myself a little lucky; tonight’s rock strike also trashed my front rim, but it could have been worse.  I didn’t crash, nor am I injured.  For that, I am thankful 🙂


  1. Avatar Greg Strickhausen

    Like reading your site. I am interested in what lighting systems you all are using? Maybe you could do a review on the different systems used, advantages and disadvantages.
    Hope you get better soon.

    Greg Strickhausen

    • JOM JOM

      Hey Greg, thanks for writing. Great idea! I’ll canvas the guys and girls, and post an article about the various lighting systems. My system is 100% home made.

  2. K-Dogg K-Dogg

    Somebody call the waambulence……a pink one… that drives on the lefty……Oh wait…..this is America where manly men don’t wear girl!s blouses when they hit a little pebble.

    • JOM JOM

      Oi! Cheeky bugger! The repair rate and call out fee on your dodgy office computers just went up!

  3. K-Dogg K-Dogg

    Uh…. okay. Diss recanted. You are manly.
    Sorry for the confusion.

  4. Avatar Roger

    I’m glad I didn’t witness this abortion first hand. I might have melted down and just rode tight circles at the spot of JOM’s failure for hours until medical staff arrived.

    • JOM JOM

      There was copious hacking involved… not pretty.

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