The last 10%

Over the last two weeks I feel like I have been slowly digging myself into a deep hole with the bike. I embarked on a mission to climb an insane amount of metres which I am now too close to completing to quit. I have only had 3 rest days this month and have cycled for 54 hours according to the graphic below, with an anticipated 12 more hours to complete the climbing challenge. The majority of this riding has been incorporated into my commutes to and from work, where I have created a routine of climbing every hill between work and home, often repeatedly. The monotony of it all is starting to wear me down.

In general I find that the last 10% of any endurance activity or event is always the point where I have to fight thoughts of giving up. Recently I have noticed that every cycling Sportive I’ve entered seems to be 5 miles too long, no matter whether it’s 60, 75 or 100 miles. And so, I am now at a point where I have had enough of this challenge. The last 10%

In addition, the weather has not been conducive to a cycling challenge. It has rained. A lot. Every day. I am getting used to struggling up hills, soaked from the outside by rain, and from the inside by sweat with glasses steaming up and trying to ignore the grinding noises my poor bike has begun to regularly emit. I have taken bits apart and greased them. I have lubed as if lubing is going out of fashion but still the bike keeps making cringeworthy noises. I am beginning to think that my budget bike with its cheap components may not last much longer. But if it gets me over the finishing line of this challenge then it may have earned a good rest. I’m certainly looking forward to one.

3 thoughts on “The last 10%

  1. hilarydavies says:

    Oh Mr. Bike v. Car – when a simple mathematical typo seems like a sin then you have more troubles than the last 10% !!! Just complete 90% of the remaining distance each day and it shouldn’t take too long … ;-). x x

  2. bgddyjim says:

    I’m the same way brother. It doesn’t matter how far I’m planning on running, that last 2 miles sucks (unless it’s a 5k, then it’s the last .75k). If I’m riding in adverse conditions (wind or cold – I don’t ride in rain, but we don’t get dumped on like you do), it’s about 5 miles to go that I start feeling the pain. For me, only a part of that is in my head, and I get the feeling you’re coming to that conclusion too. That’s not all though, we know the distance, we know how much to hold back and how hard to push for that distance… Our bodies start feeling the pain because we’re right – we want to give it our all in these events and we do… The pain comes because we rode the ride to the best of our ability. That last 10%, whether we push or pass, is what increases that ability or leaves it where it is.

    As far as re-riding a hill to get more climbing time? Yeah, that’s crazy talk there my friend, you’re supposed to hate that. 😀

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