8 January 2012

This Year I'll Mostly Be Biking

It had been well over a month since my last ride. I got a nasty cold and then there were all the preparations for Christmas, the weather was truly appalling and so the bike stayed in the shed gathering concrete dust but that's another story. So yesterday morning, a stone heavier than I was a month ago, I dusted the concrete off the saddle and wheeled my trusty steed out of isolation.

Being sensible a short sharp ride appealed but as I left the road and joined the canal towpath, where peace and serenity greeted me I was tempted to change my mind. The sun was glistening on the water and although it was cold and I really needed those liner gloves I'd purchased during the week, my heart soared. It was so good to feel the wind rushing past my ears again.

Things have changed since my last ride. All the leaves had finally gone from the trees and shrubs and so I could glimpse things through the wood that had previously been hidden to me, so I slowed down in order to have a better look around at what winter time offered. After a few minutes I realised that my mind had wondered off at tangents all on its own. Previously this has only happened when out walking and never whilst cycling for I have to admit my first forays on my own although enjoyable, were often fraught as I came to grips with biking etiquette and with the dangers of riding on the roads. That moment of realisation gave me such a buzz and as I went along I asked myself why had I left it so long.

I made my way back pumping my little legs hard, so hard that when I dismounted at home I got the wobbles and couldn't walk. I was however exhilarated. Good job too because I have two big rides to train for! In a moment of madness I agreed with my wonderful S.O to sign up for two 100 milers charity; first the MacRide from Windsor to Stratford-on-Avon at the beginning of May and secondly Wolverhampton to Aberdovey for local charities and organised by West Midlands Police at the end of June.

The MacRide is my starter. Forty miles on the Saturday, overnight rest in a B&B and then 60 miles on the Sunday. The Aberdovey ride is 100 miles all in one day. I have to admit that the Aberdovey ride is a daunting prospect but if I can do it then there is hope for the human race! Considering that just two months ago I was a total novice to cycling and a very ancient novice too, it looks as though I've given myself a steep learning curve but then I never was one for doing something half heartedly. My longest ride to date has been 18 miles so a serious training schedule is the order of the year. I've been pouring over maps this afternoon plotting ever increasing distances.

This morning was bright and cold so off I went again and was pleasantly surprised to note that not only was double the distance from yesterday no problem at all but that I'm approaching double figures in terms of miles per hour. I wonder what I'll be achieving by my 50th birthday in April? My aim is not be an embarrassment to S.O when we tackle these charity rides. That will involve keeping my mouth shut as well as pedalling hard, long and fast...but that's another blog!


  1. Linda its good to see I'm not the only older returning cyclist, though i can give you about 10 years so pretty ancient really, and mostly cycle by myself.
    I haven't been out much on the bike yet this year seem to lack motivation and time :/ but recently read of a Frenchman still cycling at the age of 100 gave me hope Good luck with the challenge, if i had more months left to train i might sign up too

  2. Thanks Vivienne. Unfortunately after the events of the last few days I will not be doing the two rides. The first one, Mac-Ride, well that I could do it because I know I would have the ability to do 40 on Day 1 and 60 Day 2 but I don't want to do it on my own. As to the Aberdovey ride, well that one was always figured in my dreams! There is just no way I could do that ride on my own. I was looking at least 12 hours anyway but without Aiden at my side encouraging me, I just couldn't do it. I'm not going to give up cycling though because I do love it and I hope that next year I can do something else or even if Mac-Ride will consider it, doing one of their shorter rides and transferring the sponsorship already raised. Good luck with your return :-)

  3. thanks I found a renewed love of cycling too and I do hope Aiden makes a full recovery I understand the difference of riding on your own or having someone encourage you ( envy creeping in here :) )

    I will be following his and your progress and maybe i'll meet you at a ride one day

  4. Vivienne, no idea where you are based but if you fancy a ride with me one day and you're not too far away drop me an email taxwizzard AT gmail dot com

  5. will do x thanks I am in Brownhills but very cycle unfit right now Really having to motivate myself and thats not easy i'm finding
    Maybe should get myself a man like yours :)

  6. Well I can cycle up to Brownhills no bother at all and then perhaps a short meander to begin with just to get you going. Contact e if you fancy. No pressure because I'm not sure when I'm going to get out whilst things are the way they are.
    My man will not be cycling again for a very long time, if ever again :-(

  7. :( sad news
    I can make it to Aldridge lol, just hills and longer distances practice I need now
    Oh and knowledge of cycle paths probably, though i dunno how my road bike would cope and dropped handle bars not so good off road
    I'll be off out over the weekend cos i have a 40 mile ride coming up so really need to kick my ass.

    BTW I'm sure I know you from somewhere look familiar and you are in taxes?

  8. Enjoy your ride :-) I wasn't keen on roads even before Aiden's accident, even less so now. I've a hybrid which will suit me pretty well now.
    Yes...for my sins. Although I left the Revenue in 1996. Best decision I ever made. I hated the feeling I got in my stomach every Monday morning as I walked through the gates of hell. Was very active in the union......
    Oh and hills iz bad!

  9. oh well i hadn't joined then lol and off now to UK Border Agency
    I bought a pretty cheap mountain bike for canals and woods etc , but I find it clumpy and uncomfortable and a bit like riding a tin can after my beloved road bike. I used to cycle to work before they shipped me out to Birmingham so invested in a decent bike and I love it.
    Seems now I need to get a better hybrid for " other riding " Feed my passion so to speak so that I'm not confined to roads

    yeah hills :/