Sunday, 23 September 2012

Two Wheels On My Wagon

Well, I don't recognise myself. It's Sunday. I got up at 8am - voluntarily - got out my bike, cycled to the pool, swam a mile, got back on the bike and was home before 11am. I don't think I've ever actually done that before. It says a lot for my current fitness that I'd even consider it!

I've never been much of a cyclist - did a few big runs when I was a teenager, but mostly poddled round to friends' houses. Sometimes I biked to uni when I could be bothered to drag my overly-heavy bike up from the cellar and tackle the traffic down Oxford Road, where the buses play "splat the student" all day (given how much of my second year I spent hung over, asleep, or hiding under the covers from the black dog, it's a miracle it ever came out at all). Other half and I upgraded our knackered old post-student racers for a pair of sturdy town/wannabe mountain bikes before we got hitched, and...never used them. We had all sorts of good intentions but since we only passed our driving tests in our late twenties it took a long time for the novelty of having a car to wear off. And then there were children and a new home in a hilly area, and the poor old bikes have languished in the shed for years.

Anyway. I bought The Bike Owner's Handbook at the back end of May, along with a cycle computer and fixed it all up - very useful book. I'd barely so much as pumped up my own tyres before, and this had me taking an entire wheel off to replace a cracked tyre! It was certainly challenging but I do feel more competant. And then I locked it all back in the shed, whereupon it rained all summer. It took a trade-off to get me out on it, but I'm glad - my running kit made a decent set of clothes to wear; I had a reason to go somewhere, and although I felt like an absolute dork it was worth it. I did have to walk part of the way back because this is effectively a new bike to me, and it has 13 more gears than I'm used to, so the return uphill was just too much for now. But I will crack it (preferably when the road isn't being resurfaced!). It also had the joyful knock-on of the kids wanting to go out on their bike/trikes, so we had some fun in the park this afternoon. Eldest is very close to being able to cycle by herself now.

Swim was ok. Very run-of-the-mill; I'd squeezed in a couple of chapters of Total Immersion last night and was trying to remember all that - it's very similar to what I learned from the coach at USwim so far. Didn't seem to increase my speed at all but I was more mindful of my body roll (I tend not to roll enough to the right) which I guess is the point. I need to do the maths - I usually swim a longer distance so working out my average speeds would be useful.