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!