It happens to every person that’s ever turned a pedal. When you’re younger, you have no idea of the concept, yet you still experience a feeling of loss. Getting dropped is almost as traumatic as being separated from your mom in the mall.
You may never have erectile issues, or suffer from a clitoris that could honestly care less anymore, but you will be dropped. You never remember the first time you were dropped but sadly, you always remember the last. “Getting Dropped” comes from the Latin words; Questus Stillaret. Loosely translated it means: When gel shots can’t make up for your utter lack of preparation.
2012 was a magical year for me. It seemed as though I couldn’t help but to get dropped. I felt prepared, rested and mechanically sound, yet when the pace rose or the road went vertical, I lost the scent of the pack. The only proof I had that my group was still on the road was the banana peels I would see intermittently browning.
Once I noticed a trend forming I tried to no avail to hold onto wheels for as much was humanly possible. In order to not completely blow up, I would sit up. My tactic could be seen as doing damage control, or more accurately just getting dropped. I did a mountain bike race last year where the victors were already on their 3rd helping of barbeque, when I crossed the line. I don’t like barbeque anyway, but that wasn’t the point. It was a pro-am event, so I expected it, but if you’re a competitor it still burns just a little.
I did find however find solace off the back. I accepted my fate and cruised into the sandwich spots of the season as confidently as I would’ve, if I had led the peloton. I did find strength in being weak oddly enough. When you’re blowing all over the road without the protection of the group it forces you to dig in and get through. I did some of my best thinking when the horizon was clear. I don’t cherish the position, but I do understand that not everyday/month/year can be yours. That’s just life in the peloton. You take your licks, re-tweak your training and maybe layoff the full stacks, because each ride on the calendar gives you an opportunity to lessen that gap.