After just 2 sessions with my personal trainer (more on him in a future blog), one visit to The Fitness Suite, a new skirt to cycle in and an incredibly healthy breakfast (me) and 2 x bacon/sausage sandwiches (Chris), we set out for our first training ride.
It was cold – call me a bit of a softie, but within the first 200m I stopped twice, wondering whether to head straight back home! However, I persevered and after the first hill (“that was a slight incline” says my ever-supportive son!) I warmed up a little.
Before even leaving the house, we had problems sorting our route. I’m guessing that the more experienced cyclists have a smartphone app which does all of this, whereas we drew a 15 mile radius around home and looked for a route that wasn’t too hilly, and tried to use cycle paths/lanes thinking they would be safer…
Within the first mile we had to abandon our planned route as the cycle path was closed!
All in all, though, it was an enjoyable outing – we used cycle lanes, main roads, shared pedestrian/cycle paths, canal paths and a little bit of cross country. Thankfully, Chris had taken his hybrid not his Cannondale road bike. I only have the one bike – which was perfect for all terrains.
As a car driver, I am very aware that Gloucestershire roads, in places, are pretty appalling. What I hadn’t realised was that cycle paths and cycle lanes are far far worse. Please Mr/Mrs Car Driver - next time you are annoyed at the cyclist who is not using the designated cycle route, have a thought that maybe it is because using it could result in a damaged bike (mine is booked in for a “wheel true” this week) or worse – the offending potholes could totally up-end him/her sending him/her straight into your path – with or without the bike. (Gloucestershire County Council – please take note!)
Apart from the potholes, we met with one car driver who refused to stop at a red light when I was crossing the road. We had taken the “safe” route on a roundabout and stuck to the cycle path which involved using the pedestrian crossings. I don’t think I would have minded quite so much if the driver had apologised when realising her mistake. However, that was not to be. Having narrowly missed me because I realised in time that she wasn’t going to stop and got out of her way, she then had the cheek to glare at me as though I was at fault! The man in the car following her was delightful J If anyone can recommend a budget-priced camera, please let us know!
The following data is important to all budding statisticians out there (Chris!):
Target = 25 miles
Actual = 27.5 miles
Time Taken = 3 hours!!
Calories Burned = 1,000
And to think, in 145 days, I would have done more than double that distance each day, carrying all my kit, and set up camp at the end of each day. That is a challenge oops! – adventure!
As a first-time-out-on-my-bike-for-that-distance kind of person, the statistic I like most is the “Actual” – what an achievement. The figure I’m not so keen on is the Time Taken. However, the benchmark has been set and surely the only way is up?!!
Oh, and the good news – the training ride was on Friday. I am writing this at 6 am Monday, and apart from a few very minor aches, I don’t seem to have suffered at all! Personal Training Session #3 after work today – bring it on!