“My name is Michelle and I am sometimes too competitive.”

I imagined myself at “Competitives Anonomous” as I struggled to get rid of the huffy-puffy yellow shirted creature I’d managed to get stuck to my back wheel.

This piece of debris had been riding very slowly – until I overtook it (/him). I did so perfectly innocently, but clearly he did not like being chicked, and was now actually becoming quite a nuisence.

You see – this was meant to be a recovery ride, and I was meant to be (had been!) riding at a nice comfortable pace, even as I glided past him.

Then it happened – and he chose to stick to me. I could just see his shadow creeping over me, and his front wheel kept overlapping my back in the most annoying fashion. Now – having overtaken someone, I don’t much like to see them again. I certainly don’t want to see their back end as they pass me.

So – my recovery ride ended and the speed just kept increasing. Eventually, my legs gave way on a little hillock, and he swept past. On his way, he broke ALL conventions. He drew up next to me and said: “It’s a good thing you didn’t overtake me at the start of my 30mile ride, I couldn’t keep this pace up that long.”

Now- here are my internal replies to the snotty little quip:

1: 30 miles is not a very long way, it is a tootle in the garden.

2: I am on a recovery ride (which you have RUINED) becuase I am injured and I have not been on a bike since Sunday becuase my BUM HURTS.

3: All of that aside – you’re overtaking me still makes you slow for someone of your sex… becuase I have a VAGINA.

Anywayss, that aside – he got away for a bit and I gave up. Before changing my mind and resorting to childishly chasing him down and sitting on his back wheel. Actually after drafting a while I almost wanted to pull out all the stops and overtake again but thatseemed a little antagonistic and childish…

Now – all this, if I was fighting fit, might not matter so much. But I’m not – my left glute (I hate that word – I mean bum) – started to hurt Saturday night, for no appratent reason. I raced Sunday anyway but it was pretty painful and it hasn’t gone away since.

It has actally been getting better, but my ridiculous little race today probably set me back a days recovery, if not more.

So – that is my confession.

I have a competition problem.

And you know what – come next year – if I can stick to the plan coach has for me – it’s about to get a whole lot worse. You see, competition makes you work hard, and when properly applied (eg NOT as in today), it has a great effect.

Most of the plan is of course secret – but I will reveal a portion: finally, I have an actual goal – and it’s bloody exciting.

So yes – My Name Is Michelle – and I Have A Competition Problem.

And I’m going to milk it for everything it’s worth.

(Just as soon as my bottom stops hurting.)

I am an NCTJ qualified journalist and copywriter with a year’s worth of experience as a local hack, and just under two years’ of experience working in the marketing department for a highstreet retailer. I currently work at Cycling Weekly, previous to this I was the editor at Total Women's Cycling. I do a little freelance writing alongside my job, and have written for Runner’s World, Triathlete’s World, Sussex Sport, Basingstoke Gazette newspaper, the Brighton Argus, Steve Hart Photography and 2LK Design. I blog to record the activities in my life which I don’t want to forget when I’m old and wrinkly (let’s hope the internet never melts down – but it seems safer than a notebook) – to let old friends and family know what I’m up to, and because I enjoy playing with words. I’m always looking for new projects – and you can email me should you ever need someone with an energetic passion for word doodling. Email: michelle.arthurs@gmail.com Twitter: @RideWriteRepeat Instagram: @RideWriteRepeat

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