Push, pull. Push, pull.
After the first few laps, my legs find that correct balance and cadence. It always takes a few kilometers to get the legs warmed up. Push, pull. Push, pull. My grasp is firm. Focus. The night is clear, but the road is still busy with taxis, and busses are still shuttling people to wherever destination. Push, pull. Push, pull. The sweat drips down my face. Good thing I've got my translucent sunglasses on. I don't even bother wiping any of it off. Push, pull. Push, pull. Check the speedometer. Alright, 38 km/hr. Let's see if we can go faster. Push, pull. Push, pull. The cleat straps are restricting the blood flow to my feet. They are numb. Keep going. I shoulda bought the Ergo 3s. Push, pull. Push, pull. My neck is sore. I put my head down slightly to release the tension. Push, pull. Push, pull. Only a few more kilometers to go. Everyone else starts to pedal faster. Fuck. I gotta keep up, or else I'll get left behind. Push, pull. Push, pull. As I turn past the fourth corner, I yell out to my teammates who are spectating. HOW MANY LAPS LEFT? Last lap, I hear. I'm still in the back of the pack. Push, pull. Push, pull. The first corner has a slight grade and incoming traffic. It is inevitable that everyone slows down here. However, past the second corner, a downhill straight shot awaits for about 1 km. Push, pull. Push, pull. I remember it's the last lap. Everyone bombs the downhill. Here we go. I don't even risk looking down at my speedometer. Push, pull. Push, pull. Halfway down the street, Jong-goo, one of my teammates, whose in the front of the pack, takes off. Shit!. But I hesitate, and can't keep up with him. Push, pull. Push, pull. Before the third corner, there is another uphill where inevitably everyone has no choice but to slow down again. This is it. I pass a few racers. I see Bud in front. Push, pull. Push, pull. The fourth and final corner is meters away. I turn the corner tight, and feel as though I'm going to tip over. But the momentum keeps me going. Push, pull. Push, pull. The final stretch. I see someone in front of me. Inhale. I take the outside lane, barely avoiding collision with an incoming taxi. Fuck. I see someone else. I keep pedaling, but only manage to get as close as his rear wheel before we cross the finish line inches apart. The adrenaline is still flowing through my body.
I came in 5th that night. But I learned a lot about myself, and where I need to improve upon. Next time, I'm going to get 1st.
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