Wednesday 15 April 2015

Hello Old Friend - I'm back

So, everyone missed me ? It's been nearly a year since I was last on the bike for a number of personal reasons.  Prompted into a return to the saddle by my wife's comment 'Darling, don't you think you're starting to look a little tubby?'.  First off, no I'm not tubby.  Those of you who were regular readers would have seen my climb to fitness and 49 lbs of weight loss, i've only put on around 10 pounds.  Thats not tubby territory at all, mildly cuddly maybe, but never tubby.

Second, could you imagine a husband saying that to his wife, or, getting the answer wrong to the regular question 'Does my bum look big in this'.  So, with an impending holiday and a wife threatening to upsize my clothes and swimming trunks, I decided to hit the bike again.

So, for those of you who haven't read before, I have three bikes (Debbie Dahon, Sally Specialised and Brandy Boardman - Sold her cousin Brigitte around 18 months ago).  In a addition I have Wanda Wattbike too.

So, last week, this was my first ride whilst staying at a hotel in Leatherhead, I decided to bring Sally with me.  She's got a bigger gear range, but, she's a little heavier too.

Now, let me get things clear,  cyclist magazines and keep fit books say your body has a memory.  If you take a short spell off, when you start again it doesn't take long to get back into it.  Let me tell you now,  the only thing my legs remembered was pain, and lots of it whilst climbing hills. Other than that, its load of old ........

I left the hotel on a moderately warm evening and of course, relying on my bodies memory, set off at a similar pace to what I had done before.  Memory worked, it felt good, I was soon at my old cruising speed and I was spinning the pedals well for 500.......................yards or so.  Then I hit the first incline, and before long was puffing and sneezing worse than Thomas the Tank Engine suffering from Asthma.  So no, other than pain, there is no memory, it's a myth designed to loll unsuspecting fools like me back on the bike.

After a not so good workout with Sally and getting a good level of punishment on Wendy over the weekend, I brought Brandy with me this week.  She's a boardman Super Light (SLR) even with carbon pedals and really light, although this is off-set by a tubby bloke on top. I've just got back from my second ride of the week, both short 10 miles or so, and both with an average speed of around 14-15 mph.  So I'm now starting to feel better. I'm getting back into it and generally enjoying it.  So as I have to said to each bike 'Hello Old Friend', I'm back and looking forward to getting better.

However, the next thing is bike skills.  You see, today, in Surrey UK, theres been a real hot spell (25+ degrees).  Going out on the bike this evening I encountered everyone with a bike within 30 miles of London, and they must be the friendliest group of cyclists in the world.  I'm riding a along, minding my own business, acknowledging others by nodding my head, as everyone else was lifting one hand off the handlebars and shouting 'awwight'. I decided this must be the done thing in these parts. At two points I was riding almost hands free trying to acknowledge everyone, trying not to offend anyone. It would be an ideal script for Mr Bean.

Talking of offending people, to the 6 or 7 year old girl, who wanted to race me up the hill on her shiny new bike with stabilisers, not not funny at all, especially when you slowed and told me to hurry up.  In my defence, I had just done a 2 mile or so stretch, averaging 20+ mph when I hit the hill, and she only started 3 quarters of the way up the hill, but still, have a heart and be gentle to an old man puffing up the hill. Plus keep the celebrations down when you get to the top before me. Doing a Cavendish race finish salute is a hell of lot easier on stabilisers when you're not going to fall off.

Anyways, I'm back and hoping to share more with you once I start to lengthen my rides, remove my tubbiness and get back into cycling shape again.