Vacancy: Dutchman wanted. Full training given. Belgians need not apply.

Tom Dumoulin

I don’t own a power meter. I never monitor my heart rate or measure my cadence, and I haven’t tried Zwift. I have a Garmin, which I connect to Strava, and that’s quite enough things to plug in* thanks very much.

Also, I know what I’m like.

Provide me with too much information and you can kiss goodbye to our burgeoning friendship. I’ll be otherwise engaged. Down that data-rich rabbit hole, armed with a fistful of carrot-based snacks to placate the locals, and setting up camp before you can say ‘functional threshold power.’

There is only one additional training aid I think could make use of: a Dutchman. A straight talking, no-nonsense, niceties-lost-in-translation, dweller of the Low Countries, to cut through my pontificating.

To be clear, when I say “make use of” I don’t mean like a possession. I don’t want to own a Dutchman – that would be logistically time-consuming and a moral faux pas.

I mean I need one in my life.

As a friend/acquaintance and occasional training partner/coach/mentor.

Let me give you an example of how this might work.

I’m a cyclist in the north of England, which means that eighty-percent of all my decisions are weather-related. The weather can never make it’s mind up, which means I can’t either, and I’m man burdened by indecision at the best of times.

Should I go for a ride? On which bike? Should I head north or south? What should I wear? Are these bib-shorts giving too much away? Or not enough? Maybe today is a rest-day?

You get the idea.

The Dutch, as you may know, are straight talking. They cut through the bullshit. If you’re unprepared, or thin-skinned, they’ll put you on the back foot. Other national stereotypes are available, of course, but I think the science is largely agreed on this.

Personally, I like their directness.

I need people to be firm with me because I’m a daydreamer and my mind wanders. Once I start thinking about something this progresses to overthinking. Where I end up from there is anyone’s guess.

I need to be put on the back foot and kept there, and I’m confident my new Dutch friend could do this. This, in turn, should lead to a decrease in laziness, fewer excuses, and more bike rides.

If it goes well, then perhaps the arrangement could extend beyond cycling and into other areas of my life? To zero in on the array of diversionary activities filling my day. Boost my productivity. Make me more assertive in restaurants.

Imagine how much I’d get done.

Applications by email please; Belgians need not apply.

*Tempo Cyclist helpfully framed it this way. Plugging stuff in to facilitate a bike ride is bonkers!

(Image: Tom Dumoulin by Pieter Bas Elskamp on Flickr|creative commons license)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s