I am trying but my mind is still not at rest, hankering back to memories and people in India. Staying home alone didn’t seem a good idea in such a case so I headed out on the bike again yesterday, despite the 3-7°C temperatures – only my 2nd ride of the year. Took almost the same route as last time just removed Camden & Chalk Farm and added Kensington Gardens.
It was a fine 42km ride with an average speed of 22kmph despite all the traffic lights, pedestrians in the park and a south-southeasterly wind, though the max heart rate of 186 was a bummer.
On the other hand, the ride did what it was supposed to – took my mind off stuff and stole away a few hours of alone time. Worked out really well on that account :)
I finally went cycling today – a sweet and steady 40kms around town. My first proper ride this year considering all those rides to Tesco, Bank, Roma and Chalk Farm didn’t even touch the 5km mark each.
The pain had been building up inside me for some time now. Cycling is, apart from being an exercise and a pastime, also my favourite way to relax (point 4 on this post) , clear any anxiety and cleanly gather my thoughts. Cycling cheers me up and not having had a good ride since end November was killing me. A few weeks ago, I realised I wouldn’t last long like this and might end up doing something stupid. So, I picked up the bike and went over and finally got the tyre & wheel issues sorted out at Evans. Then, just as I was ready to start cycling again, a couple of job interviews arrived making me delay the start yet again. By the time I got over with the second set of interviews, I was already publicly ranting that I needed to start cycling soon. But the weather had taken a turn for the worse again – 4 days of winds with average speed of 25-40 km/h. I had to wait again. Finally, yesterday the winds relented but thanks to an overnighter, I spent the day in dream-world. Out of frustration (at having missed on a perfect cycling day) and possibly as a side-effect of the two beers, I managed to sleep early yesterday and was rewarded with another mostly clear and mildly windy day today. After more than two months of dithering over minor repairs, hiding from bad weather and just procrastinating, I finally made it out today.
It was not easy. The wind seemed harder than the forecasts had suggested and my, usually powerful, legs much weaker than I’d known them to be. The 5 kgs I’ve put on since I last cycled only added to the dead weight. The mild inclines in roads felt like small hills, the lack of stamina was obvious within first half of the ride and the readings from heart rate monitor were pretty disturbing. The only thing that didn’t pain like it did last march was my bum – it had survived the winter without much softening up :)
I wasn’t as fast or aggressive on the usual sections (chelsea embankment and regents park outer circle) as I usually am, and the gears gave some problem while shifting (specially 5th to 4th). However, given the long break, the ride felt good and I even stopped for a sausage & bacon sandwich at Honest Sausage before completing the final 10kms.
Have decided to at least attempt to ride everyday this year with some ground rules for those attempts – rain is acceptable as a reason not to ride, cold is not acceptable, work may be acceptable on a one-off basis, using gym bikes when out of town is acceptable.