La petit mort. The seconds begin to stretch, sound recedes. The heart is fit to burst as everything begins to burn. For some it’s about aggression, a flurry of rage. For others it’s a task of concentrated effort, the pain turned inwards. The suffering is contained in their eyes, the torture in facial contortions.

Just as quickly as it begun, it’s suddenly over. Legs slowly unwind from their frantic whir. And as this is roller racing at Rollapaluza, a cold beer can be in your hands literally seconds after unstrapping from the roller racing rig.

Is this the perfect distillation of cycling? The sport reduced to its purest form? Physical suffering rewarded by, for some, glory, and for everyone else a hard earned pint? Cycling in a bar – what’s not to love?

Monday was the second round of the Rollapaluza Winter League. Results and more photos from the night can be found here. Clubmate John ‘Coolers’ Coolahan was the clear winner, having also set the fastest time recorded on the night (21.71 seconds). Natalie Creswick won the women’s event in equally convincing style. I failed to even progress out of the qualifying round. Woeful.

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