At the end of training camp, the rest of the motley crew had gone home. A few days later I was out for a ride on my own. A planned 80 mile, slow and steady ride, as I was still recovering from a hard week with the lads.
As I was riding up towards Fataga, trying not to go above 130 bpm for the day, I heard a voice from behind “I didn’t expect to see any of your lot out here”. Thinking to myself who’s this going to be? As he pulled beside me I was looking down, the first thing I noticed he was wearing Movistar Kit. Some Pro Kit —— I thought to myself. As I looked up to see if I knew who the sad bloke was, I said “hello Alex”, didn’t see that one coming. As I increased my speed to ride with Alex, my heart rate increased to about 150. There goes my recovery ride, never mind.
Apparently it was Alex’s first trip to the Island and he had arrived that day. I explained some of the various routes, invited him to the Tandem Weekend, and a general chat. Luckily I was wearing my Crest Kit. Had I been wearing my PBP kit he would have just ridden straight past me. Could have been wearing my MAD kit, which of course we had a bit of a chat about, as that is where Alex started.
I had been riding with Alex for about 10 minutes or so. As my heart rate was now hitting 170 most of the time, and the terrain had become considerably more lumpy, I said my goodbye to Alex and said probably see you on your way back down. I dropped back down to my old steady pace.
We normally have a coffee stop at San Bartolome, but as I was on my own I decided to carry on, a quick banana stop just the other side, then carried on up the long climb. Some time later I heard someone from behind me, shout “wotcha”. As I glanced up wondering who it was this time, to my surprise it was Alex, at least 30 minutes since I had last seen him. As he went past, this time at a much faster pace I shouted out, “Did you stop for a coffee ?” “No”, he said in a disgruntled voice, “just for some water”. Never saw him again. As they say, ‘time is miles’. Who will we meet this year?