As I said in my last post, it’s been a few years since I’ve ridden my road bike. Well 6 years, 7 months and 3 days to be exact, but who’s counting? I used to really love riding my bike, and I especially loved the exhilaration of rocketing down a hill as fast as possible, knowing that if I came off I’d be in big trouble. Somehow the risk of it made it feel even more thrilling. Of course not riding my bike means I’ve lost that.
As much as I did love riding, I found extended periods in the saddle would totally kill my back, and there were many rides where I’d need to get off and lie face down in a verge until something clicked and I could carry on. Knowing how much it used to kill me, it was an easy excuse to use for avoiding getting back on the bike for years. However, I’m determined to complete the Cotswolds Classic triathlon in August this year, so last month I decided to sign up for a proper bike fit so I can get the bloody thing set up properly. I should have done one years ago but hey-ho. I deliberately chose the soonest date they had that I was available, knowing that the longer I put it off, the longer I’d stay off the bike. So the fitting is booked for next weekend.
The other side of that is that I don’t want to turn up and have to admit that I’ve not even ridden the bike for years. So yesterday I went out and round the block (well, around a small industrial estate next to my flat) just to get used to the bike handling again. I’ve been on my hybrid, but as it’s a sturdier bike, I have to get used to the feel of a roadie again. I almost then went on for a longer ride but bottled it and came home. I think what I’m most nervous about is drivers. I always give cyclists plenty of room, but knowing so many people who’ve been knocked off their bike gives me the shits (not literally, you’ll be glad to know). I used to be really assertive in traffic, so I know it’s just a matter of building that confidence back up.
I was busy first thing this morning, so after a very late brekkie I headed out after 1pm. OMG I loved it!! I was only out for about 40 mins, and maybe about 5 mins or so I was stopped at the side of the road deciding whether to keep going or turn around, but overall I’m really happy. I headed to the coast, so there was a lot of gentle downhill on the way out, and then of course I started to worry about being able to get back up the hills. To be honest they are not exactly hills, but I’ve always had a total fear of anything not 0% incline on the bike, so after 4 miles I turned back. I made it up all the inclines (hills!) fairly easily, so I needn’t have worried.
As for the traffic, there were quite a few cars about but every single one of them waited behind me until it was safe to pass and were really considerate. I gave them all a little wave, after all if they’ve been nice, so should I be. Karma and all that!
When I got back I went for a quick run, but my heart rate was really high and my legs felt bolloxed, so I only went round the block and ran for 10 mins. It’s made me realise that while my spin bike s really good for general fitness, it definitely doesn’t replicate the effort of road riding, so I need to get out on the bike regularly. I noticed my general cadence is much better, and I can ‘spin’ a lot more comfortably outside, the spin bike has helped a lot in that respect.
Anyway, this week I’ve completed 3 rides, 2 runs and 2 swims. So 1 swim & run less than planned, but I can live with that. The distances are not quite where they need to be either, but that will come. I’ve been fairly consistent the last three weeks and I’m enjoying the training, both of which I’m really pleased about. Only one more week until the official training plan starts. Yikes.