Friday, 1 January 2010

The story so far - a brief round up of 2009.

To quickly recap, this blog is about my rediscovery of a love for bicycles. As most of you have read; over ten years ago, I used to ride, but for a variety of reasons I stopped! (I could bore you with the exact day that I stopped riding, but it really would make dull reading.) Since then, the lack of exercise resulted in a deterioration of my lungs/asthma and an unsurprising weight gain. Realistically, you could say that rather than it being a “rediscovery” of bikes, it has been more like starting from scratch.
Anyway, my initial target has been to complete at least 100miles a month and the winter months are no exception. In fact, mileage-wise, December has been a good month, despite the miserable riding conditions. Unfortunately, the awful weather at the start of the month, dictated a number of tedious sessions on the "turbo" and after a couple of very painful and unpleasant “real” rides in the middle of the month I was ready to give up... I was so disillusioned by it all, firstly by the monotony of the trainer and then because the severe weather was affecting my capabilities/lungs so I was struggling to maintain speeds and distances that had previously started to become easier. I was broken, but somehow, through sheer stubbornness – I continued to go out on rides taking advantage of Michael’s days off – forcing him to endure a ride with “Slow Poke Katie.”

Thankfully, I don’t know if it was because the weather became less harsh as the ocean winds had eased, but things started to look up again. The feelings that I had at the beginning of the month returned and I once again started to feel like a real cyclist, rather than just someone who rides a bike and my tenacity seemed to be paying off. By Boxing Day I had meet my monthly target – but I didn’t stop there, the rides continued and by the end of December I was 43 miles over target.

The last few rides have been great fun and we have enjoyed the eerily quiet local lanes and muddy bridleways. We have also done rides that have taken me out of my comfort zone; going further a field instead of sticking within a few mile radius of home. I have also had the confidence to attempt the hills that in the past I have been daunted by (for fear that I may not be able to climb them). Even more amazing still, I have enjoyed a few rides down scarily narrow national speed limits lanes that are treacherous in a car, never mind on a bicycle.

So, to round up the last few months of my rediscovery, I am happy to report that I have pretty much achieved my targets so far. There has only been one month (September) out of the 5 months since I started that I didn’t meet my target, due to a very nasty sore (that kept me off the saddle for 2 weeks) but amazingly, I made up the miles in the following months.

Basically, in the last 5 months I have achieved over 500miles, which I think is quite impressive, as its likely that I haven’t riden even a fifth of that in the last 10 years.

Here’s a roundup of my mileage to date.
Dec 2009 - 143miles
Nov 2009 - 115.05miles
Oct 2009 - 120.55miles
Sep 2009 - 63.30miles
Aug 2009 - 101.10miles


Anyway, the fact that I have achieved so much in a considerably short amount of time gives me hope that I can continue improving and it is looking more likely that I will achieve my main goal to participate in a Cyclo-Cross race next year.

This morning, I have also decided that another target for me to aim for in the next few months, is to do a 26 mile ride. Yeah I know it’s not a huge figure for the seasoned athlete, who thinks nothing of riding 100miles, but for me it is a marathon! ;-)

2 comments:

grant said...

/Waves big plackard full of encouraging and congratulatory words

SS:Mtn Biker said...

Mad props for reaching/exceeding your goals! Don't you just love that warm 'n fuzzy feeling? Now,take that feeling and save it for those times you find it hard to motivate to go out in the cold :)

You done did good,my friend,and you'll do even more in 2010.

As for the 26 miler,those are fairly common on my route,because it's exactly 12.57 miles from end to end (so just under 26 miles round trip) on my road route-you can do it! :) Common tho a 26 miler may be to me,a 30 miler I have RARELY ever done,LOL! I'll try and do my part to help encourage you along your journey,and will be inspired along on my own while doing so. I'm going to try and work my way up to a 50 miler,then metric century (that's just over 60 or so,right?),and hopefully ride my first ever century this coming year,so come on...we can do it together here :)

Steve

PS: Happy New Year!