Descending like my hair is on fire allows little room for error. Off of my seat, crotch on the top tube. Knees tucked. Head low. Elbows in. It blankets every fiber of attention that the body can muster. Neurons firing. Goosebumps. Dry mouth. Adrenalin dumping. Heart racing. Tingling. Fear stuffed deeply in my jersey pocket.
In the bend of a road I saw a patch of gravel and sand that covered the width of the road. Think quickly! I must turn with the road, not too hard, keeping most of the center of my tire in contact with the road. The bike slid away from me faster than I could react. To be honest, I was actually trying to keep my Cervelo S5 from making any contact with the pavement. Weird I know, but my body can eventually heal. No sponsorship. There is no car behind me with a roof rack of bikes.
I could hear carbon meeting pavement. The sound is sickening. The wind flew from my lungs when my back made contact with the ground and my head popped back. I started to slide. The jersey and bibs didn’t last very long. My skin soon began peeling away, as I then flipped and slid on my front side, trying to stop the movement with my hands. I caught a glimpse of my bike, as the tires pulled at a fresh spot of pavement and launched the bike in the air. Darkness.
I can tell my eyes are open, but it is still dark. Blood or sweat? I cannot tell. Wait. What? I’m in my bed? My breathing has not slowed yet. I have mixed emotions, terror from the dream and joy from realizing it is a dream. Cycling has now entered my dreams. As much of my world is about cycling, I just realized that this is my first . . . as far as I can remember. If that is the way it’s going to be, could I please have one about winning a stage in the Tour or maybe even Paris Roubaix?