A la recherche de temps perdu…

I made it down to the Lake for the second week in a row. I managed to scrape under 19 minutes with an 18.51. It felt quicker – partly because last week felt so demeaningly slow, but it was some way adrift of where i want to be.

I think I need to find another 15-20 seconds from somewhere. After 4 weeks of variously being ill, being ill again, not riding for a bit because i didn’t realise i was going to be ill twice, then going for a 20 minute run which ruined 9 gloriously hot days of cycling, it’s no surprise that my form has dipped considerably.

I’ve got two races coming up, both 25s of very different character, both in short succession. Hopefully in about 2 weeks time I might have regained the sense of pace.

The search for missing seconds and eternal battle with time echoes one of the dominant tropes of the modernist movement. The emergence of cycling and the transition to modernity seem to coincide. There’s an arcane blog post there somewhere.

“Boys sprinted past on bicycles, automobiles jammed with elaborate betasselled sportsmen slid up the street, high horns tooted to announce the approach of the race, and unsuspected cooks in undershirts appeared at restaurant doors as around a bend a procession came into sight. First was a lone cyclist in a red jersey, toiling intent and confident out of the westering sun, passing to the melody of a high chattering cheer. Then three together in a harlequinade of faded color, legs caked yellow with dust and sweat, faces expressionless, eyes heavy and endlessly tired.

Tommy faced Dick, saying: “I think Nicole wants a divorce — I suppose you’ll make no obstacles?”

A troupe of fifty more swarmed after the first bicycle racers, strung out over two hundred yards; a few were smiling and self- conscious, a few obviously exhausted, most of them indifferent and weary. A retinue of small boys passed, a few defiant stragglers, a light truck carried the dupes of accident and defeat. They were back at the table. Nicole wanted Dick to take the initiative, but he seemed content to sit with his face half-shaved matching her hair half-washed.”

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