I was pretty fried today. Literally. After my ride on Saturday I went to an air show and military expo with the family. We were at an airbase and the temps topped out around 40C.
So this morning I decided to do 90 minutes along the costal road next to my house. It is pancake flate and so close to the ocean I could spit in it at times. I use this route for intervals or recovery rides as it is pretty straight and devoid of intersections.
I had a tail wind out so I enjoyed the spin. I settled into a nice tempo. The traffic was light so I didn't even touch the binders until I hit my turn around point. On the way back I had a moderate headwind but nothing to write home about.
As I spun the 53-17 a rider appeared on my left. He was on his aero bars and passed me then stalled about 10m in front of me. It was clear he had chased me down and since we had a headwind and a false flat for the last 2km or so he had made a bit of an effort.
I rode behind him for a minute or so. He was on a Giant TT bike with Ultegra with some pretty decent shoes and kit that looked lived in. He was a bit twitchy but not a squirrel so I thought I might as well finish up my ride with him if he was game.
I drifted up beside him, said hello and slid onto his wheel. Not knowing him I staggered my wheel and left more of a gap than I would with riders I knew. He glanced back and saw I was there. He clicked up a gear and we were good to go.
He pulled for about 2km and I saw that he was starting to labour a bit. He had chased me down and although I wasn't putting in a hard effort he certainly had been working harder than me so I pulled through. I was still on my hoods but I rotated the pelvis and continued the tempo. I squeezed the pace up a tad but not more than 2-3kph or so.
About a minute later I flicked and pulled off. Nothing.
I glanced down and he wasn't there. I glanced back and he was gone.
By gone I don't mean dropped I mean gone. As in vanished. As in nowhere to be seen.
To be clear this section of road is about 5km long, dead flat and dead straight. There are no traffic lights, no intersections and nothing at all to obscure the line of sight. If he was anywhere on that road at all I would have seen him.
But he was gone.
I slowed down just in case I was somehow mistaken, even though I have ridden this rode literally a thousand times or more over the last 15 years as my brain just couldn't understand where the heck this guy was. Nothing. I was right. He was gone.
I'm pretty sure neither aliens nor the North Koreans abducted him. I'm pretty sure he didn't stop because he was home as there are no residences along this stretch of road. There are a few shops selling fishing rods and the like and a Coast Guard office but not much more than that.
He was just gone.
I finished up my ride expecting him to come past me again but he didn't. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see him off in the distance but I didn't.