A bad week of tedious sinus-induced intermittently searing tooth and jaw pain. I think it’s becoming a regular event, but this time around it’s late in the year because it’s aggravated by pollen, and spring is late. As a result, today’s was the first ride for a while and it was just a short one in the Sonning Common area to see how I felt – head and legs. Pleasingly, the weather was good enough to make a spin on a fixed wheel a sensible proposition.

Riding around and going surprisingly well, it occurred to me I was riding reasonably drugged-up – painkillers galore. And … it felt good! If at least some of the drugs the professional cyclists abuse are similar, I think I’m beginning to properly understand the appeal. ‘Performance enhancing’ doesn’t have to just be in the sense of making you go faster; having pain blotted out is also going to help. It’s obvious when you think about it and, indeed, experience it, even in a limited way, but thinking back, I’d always somehow assumed the drugs were just about speed.

The next time you’re trying to judge whether the sportsperson you’re watching is drugged-up, judge in terms of pain being endured as well as outright performance.

Colours in the fields

These colours are real, not drug induced!