Indeed they are quite good cyclists.
In fact, being multiple gold medal winners at the 2013 World Games in both Time Trialling and Road Racing you could say they are outstanding cyclists.
From this you can easily imagine that their fitness levels, drive, determination, dedication and courage are far greater than anything that I can muster. So naturally I don't ride or train with them but just meet them at the coffee shop at the end of their session and regale them with stories of my youth when the wind was windier, the rain was wetter, and the hills were far, far steeper. ( The fact that I have only been cycling since I retired does not prevent me from reliving these youthful fantasies :-) In my stories I can naturally put these whipper snappers in their place by pointing out that, despite their wondrous efforts, they would have been no match for me in my prime; safe in the knowledge that I will never have to put this boast to the test.
And then along came Strava with its ability to compare and share cycling routes and segments of routes between different riders. I am in danger of my boasts being exposed!
Did I mention that my two friends were young ladies?
I am in real danger of being chick whipped :-()
And they are not just ordinary girls, being both bionic and brave.
Both have been through the anguish and agony of having vital organs replaced and if it was not for the National Organ Donation Register neither would be here now.
Mel had a major riding accident at age 13, though it was only later that it was realized that she had damaged her kidneys and it was discovered that she had Chronic Renal Failure. This soon led to the need for regular 3 hour sessions of dialysis 3 times a week whilst she waited for a donor. One was eventually found and the road to recovery began. To overcome a vital organ transplant you have to climb a mountain, only the brave can do it. And Mel was, and is, a very brave young lady.
( If you click on the image then you can see it in an expanded view )
Whereas Mel had time to contemplate her predicament whilst she was ill, my second young lady, Di, was taken completely by surprise. Having gone to the doctor's after feeling continually and excessively tired she was sent for some blood tests which resulted in her instant admittal to Royal Derby Hospital for a series of further tests. Two weeks later she was transferred to Birmingham Queens Hospital for a liver transplant ( and she says, some very sexy scars, though I only have her word for that ) The recovery process took over 18 months with numerous stays in hospital, a hernia and a loss of 20 kg in body weight. On discharge around February 2009, Di could hardly walk and even needed help in getting up from the sofa; but it is from this very low point that the recovery began. She took up cycling and, through hard work and dedication, made the GB Cycling Team for the 2013 World Transplant Games winning a Gold Medal. A true triumph over adversity.
Both these girls are Cyclists on Drugs. They need them to stay alive following life supporting organ transplants and racing their bikes is their way to encourage others to sign the Organ Donor Register and help save lives.
( More stories from the GB Transplant Cyclists Team can be found here )
So you can see that with the courage, determination and dedication these girls have shown, my fear of being chick whipped on Cliff Hanger is very likely soon to become true. Even as they left me I bet they were plotting what next ignominy to inflict upon me.
But in all seriousness, these girls have achieved something remarkable and I am proud to be able to call them my friends.
If YOU have not yet signed up to the Organ Donor Register, why not do it RIGHT NOW ?