You have about a mile left.
Your breath is beyond your control.
It feels like someone has plunged hot pokers into the center of your thighs, the burning pain erupting with every downstroke.
Your mind is screaming at you to quit, to embrace the instant relief of stopping.
But you keep pushing, searching for inspiration,
that annoying guy,
the racers you'll face,
the ego's bottomless vanity.
You file through the remaining trail:
push hard on the flats,
kill the hill,
and you're done.
You feel him gaining, hear a breath, a stick crunches, he's on your wheel.
Dare him to match you.
Push push push.
light bike light bike
sprint sprint sprint.