I eventually got myself out on the bike again today after nearly three weeks off of it. I decided to ride the route I last rode to see how things had deteriorated in that time.
To look at the figures you might think not much. I was half a mile per hour faster than on my last ride but to set against that you have to take into account that I was riding a lighter bike. I rode the Specialized bike today, which is my ‘ex best bike’ with the addition of lightweight mudguards. I was pretty much done In by the time I got back home.
It was a dull damp and in some places very misty day. I was glad that I had my lights on to make it easier to be seen in the misty gloom. I did not push on too hard from the start, trying to pace myself for the distance. That kind of goes against the grain with me but I did my best. There was however one incident when I turned off of the road from Roade and onto the Blisworth to Stoke Bruerne road could I could see the flashing rear light of a cyclist about 400 metres ahead of me on the climb.
It was like a magnet to me and I somehow instinctively knew that he had to be caught. I didn’t sprint after him, I just pushed that little bit harder on the pedals until could see that I was drawing him in. I was just about catching him when he came to the top of the hill just before me and he dropped down onto the ‘drops’ of the handlebars and started to push on. He didn’t know I was there as he hadn’t looked back once. So, as he had gained the flat road ahead of me he drew away again for a while until I too reached the flat and increased my speed a bit until I was once again winding him in. This is the competitor within me. I eventually drew up alongside him and we had a brief chat until we came to the parting of ways. I was headed left down to Stoke Bruerne and he was turning right towards Towcester.
Maybe that extra effort drained me a bit more than I would have liked. A few miles further on I was slightly tempted to cut short my planned route but I resisted as I wanted to do the same route as before for a comparison. That last bit was probably the more hillier but I survived and lived to tell the tale. Soon enough I was back home to a welcoming cup of coffee and a nice big fat bacon sandwich. I felt I had earned it.
Obviously there is much repair work to be done in terms of fitness. Lots of the little climbs I went up today I don’t remember as being climbs two or three months ago. I really must make the effort to get out as much as possible regardless of the weather.