Bike days..

Until I get more confident on the road I will really only heading out when my husband is with me –  which means weekends only.

Last week we headed out and decided to do my first ever road ride. We picked a quiet road and that was the only quiet thing about it. Few cars. Everything else came at us. Hills. Wind. Rain. Hail. And missing gears or feet not clipping in. 
We got to 8km and halfway up a killer hill before I called out to hubby ‘…STOOOOP…’ I have to stop, I cannot go any further, I have to stop here..’ I’m all dizzy, feeling like I’m going to vomit. I was enjoying it, it was just too much right there. Now, I’m not usually one to pike out that easily or give up, I am, however, at the point where I know my limits and with an injury on the mend I do not want to make it worse.  We headed back – down the uphills, and up the downhills. Neither were quite as bad as they were the first time. Funny that.

The Learning Curve
While we were resting at the halfway point, hubby remarked that cycling must be way different to running, as he can ride all day, yet barely run 5km. I can run and am pretty fit, yet cycling makes me feel so un-fit. It is a completely different set of muscles in your legs that you use. 
I have to learn how to cycle again. Or in the first place. Cycle properly being the words.
My first few rides were all of about 16-17 kms total, which is the most I have ever ridden in my life. I may have had bikes, but 5k was about it when I went out.
Hubby has been riding bikes his whole life and long distance. He also rides motorbikes, so the whole thing is natural to him. I like to have a little more control over my legs and body. A little, I’m learning how to relinquish that.
I am happy to push it and go fast on the straights and small undulating bumps, but hills – both up and down –  and cornering are things I have to practice and master.
Uphill riding. There is the standing up to pedal uphills, while I was happy to do this on my old bikes, the way you hold the handle bars it’s a whole different stance, or maybe that’s just because the gears are better. Either way it’s something I have to learn. 
Braking, or steady downhills. I watched a couple of you-tube clips and one of them said to focus on the front brake more. Now these guys are pretty good riders, so it would make sense they know what they are talking about. However, after hubby saying I should focus on the rear and feather the front brakes –  which works for me, I’m slightly confused.  Initially I was riding the front brakes heavily which as ok, but not ideal.  
Cornering.  I am nervous about this as I’m still not sure what I or the bike am capable of when it comes to rounding corners. Especially downhills and in the wet. I remember I used to fly around corners when I was 12 and 13, but I’m way more cautious now and the whole things scares the bejeezers out of me. How fast is too fast, and how low into a corner can I go?
Stopping. I’m getting better at stopping, or pulling up at lights. Still a little clunky, but overall, a lot smoother than the first time, which is to be expected.
Skills to learn. New actions to get used to. It’s only been a few weeks.

I’m doing alright.
Well, at least that’s what hubby says.  He is so proud of how I am doing, I’m getting gradually faster, steadier and more comfortable looking. He says I look really good on the bike and it works.  We had a chat on the return of our last ride and he said ‘..this is the longest ride you’ve done, like ever, in your life..’ and at that point, yes it was. Around the 20km mark. I still felt so good, and was ready to push it. I was a little nervous getting back on the highway (the start and finish of this last ride was mainly bike track with a little main road in the mix) but the cars were pretty polite with only one or two that were close enough to touch. 
We finished the day with 36kms and I feel fantastic! 
I’m not sure why I waited so long to get back onto a bike. Actually I do, I remarked that I was ‘scared of the super skinny tires’, don’t know why now. they’re pretty stable.
I can see this is something that will last me a long time to come. I’ll have to keep my shirts at all sorts of lengths as I’m already getting another weird sports tan. 

Advertisements

it’s time to ride…

Buy the bike
I have mentioned briefly in another post somewhere about wanting to start cycling, or maybe I had just been thinking about it…anyhoo.
Well, shit just got real, coz the weekend just past resulted in me gaining a road cycle and the gear to go with it.
Hubby and I did a 15k ride and…omg, how much fun was that. Why have I waited so long to get back on a bike. Sure the seat was weird, and hurt even though I had all the padding. The gears are quite different to anything I have used before and the drop bar..so natural and comfortable. I definitely don’t want a flat bar.  I didn’t push it but I certainly wasn’t taking it slow either. I’m glad I am as fit as I am, for I found it reasonably easy.  The hubster was mightily impressed with my first go, he has cycled on and off for many years so is much more of a natural on the two wheels. 
I am a little wary of the speed, and public roads, so will slowly be getting to that point.  I found pain in places I didn’t know existed the next day, which was interesting. I know cycling different to running, but I figured the muscle groups were similar. Not so much.
He even commented that I have good leg muscles..well, duh. 

Beautiful schmexy bike

Physio time
This was physio week and I have to say I am very happy with the result. I love what this guy does, he knows his stuff.  As a sports person, he knows what I want to do – run – and is doing what he can to get me back out there.
There was good news and not so good news. I’m not going to say bad news, because, while it was not ideal, it certainly wasn’t bad.
I still have a ban on running ~ sad face ~ and a modified version of my original exercise with several more added to it. I can however cycle, with a time (and pain) limit, but this is my cardio and I am going to embrace it like there’s no tomorrow.
My exercises are still on a 3 day rotation, which suits me fine. I’m working out, resting, and making progress.
As part of his initial diagnosis he did a test on my legs and today we did it again. I said I could feel what was happening and the pain was not always there like it used to be, just niggling away, and especially bad on a busy day at work. I wanted that confirmation I was getting better I spose. Well, holy shite, I almost doubled my score, in a good way. It was a massive improvement. Physio man was happy.

The second part of my new exercises.
Love this guy’s drawings, they’re such cute little people.

Cycling
It’s been nearly a week and I have walked past my bike every day, patting it on the seat and stroking the handlebars (yes, I did this, lurve my new bike!) but have not yet had another ride. The main reason being the weather – wet, cold and depressing – if it was wet and warm I could probably tolerate it easier. I am totally hanging out for the weekend to go riding again.
That’s the easy bit, the other is to control my love of active wear fashion.
My running wardrobe is so big now I made up a spreadsheet of what I had so when I buy things I can work it to match more than one pair of pants/top/socks. Yes, I’m that sad. 
I said to hubby “you realise the monster you’ve unleashed here…cycling fashion is soo cool..” he laughed, said yes and agreed. I have purchased my first cycling item and fingers crossed it works. Padded knickers that I can wear under my running shorts. That way I am multi tasking my wardrobe – bonus all round, less spending, coz cycling kits are way more expensive that what I spend on running.
I somehow managed to match everything with each other. Bike, shoes and clothes. And later I noticed my phone cover is the same colour..ugh, how..I have no words for this.
While it may look orange-ish, it is most definitely not. More of a salmon colour. Which I really find, gross, but the technical term, Satin Acid Red…well that’s more like it.

That feeling after your first ride!
Inadvertently completely matched outfit to bike. 
I borrowed the blue top and wore socks to match, which also match part of my shoes, which match my bike. 

Latest virtual run
My last virtual run was one I wasn’t going to do until I saw which city it was for. As a born and bred Hobartian there was no choice, I had to do it. When I saw the medal, I knew exactly what my finishers picture was going to be. One of the busiest intersection in the city, but I think I nailed it. After like a hundred pictures – streetscape, too many cars/people, half a medal, too much finger, medal moved – because I couldn’t actually see the screen on my phone. I think it works though.