Steady as you go.
A few years ago now and out of necessity I started riding my bike, regularly and as my mode of transport to work. My old bike was fairly clunky and I must confess not well looked after, I didn’t really appreciate care and maintenance until now. It was a bit of a slog and there were times, especially in rotten weather, that I really did not enjoy it. I persisted and it got easier and my journeys got longer and I found that I was starting to enjoy the ride.
Lets get serious.
A couple of guys at work, both younger and much, much fitter than I, were pretty serious riders. One had cycled from the north to the south of France, solo! We got talking and they invited me out for a ride or two. I was apprehensive at first and had visions of being left miles behind panting while they effortlessly cruised on, however I decided to go for it and they were patient and gracious enough to go at a pace I could manage. This culminated on going out to Bakewell in the Peak District and cycling the Monsal Trail, my biggest challenge yet. It was fantastic and again they were patient and we went at a good pace and I loved every minute of it.
The Monsal Trail is a reclaimed old railway line through the hills in the Peak District and goes through several tunnels. The second picture is of our bikes with the Monsal Head in the background.
From strength to strength.
Since those early days my cycling has got better and I have got stronger. I’ve lost 2 stone in weight (28 pounds) and am fitter now than I have been for a very long time. I have cycled through the streets of London overnight, Cycled around Central Park in New York City. Taken part in the wonderful Errandonnee and can also call myself a Coffeeneur (cycling and coffee which go together so well). I cycle to work all the time now, including after working night shifts.
Today I flew.
I happened to be chatting with a colleague one day about cycling. Andy is a bit older than me and is a serious cyclist, has cycled coast to coast across the UK and several places abroad. I have often wondered what it wold be like to ride a proper road bike, one with seriously thin wheel and drop handlebars. My bike is awesome, I careful selected it as it covered all the things I needed and we have done some miles together, its a hybrid/trekking bike with paniers and is very comfortable. I mentioned this to Andy one day and he asked me if I would like to borrow his Carrera road bike! He usually uses it as his winter bike but said he was quite happy if I would like to borrow it, I jumped at the chance. He brought it in on one of our night shifts to see if it would fit me, Andy is quite a bit taller than me. Dropped the saddle and at about 2 am I was riding around the car park at work, it fits! Today was set to be a scorcher, glorious sunshine and blue skies and no wind! I got myself ready and took it out on one of my favourite rides along the Water Rail Trail and it was brilliant, I flew!
Andy, you may not get your bike back!