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Ow that hurts

Post 1

HonestIago

I've finally got my bike Serenity back and in full-working order (a story in itself) and today I started using it. To keep myself motivated to cycle every day I thought I'd keep a record of each/most days rides. I'll apologise in advance, this might be really boring for other people.

So day 1: did what I imagine will be my standard ride until I get some semblance of fitness back, a 2.5 mile trip basically to the end of my road and back and I learned a few lessons.

1) I'm appallingly unfit. It's quite shocking how difficult I found such an easy ride.
2) It's a lot busier at 5.30am than I wanted it to be.
3) I need those padded cycling gloves: Serenity is a great bike and she rides like a dream but the handlebars have always been awful and painful.
4) I should have a cup of tea/juice before I start: going from bed to bike in less than 5 minutes isn't good.

The unfitness is depressing but I know there's only one way to make it better and moping about it really won't help. I know that the fitness will start to develop surprisingly quickly and it's just a case of keeping my morale/determination up whilst I'm waiting (hence this journal).

Any observations/advice gratefully received.


Ow that hurts

Post 2

Vip - happy 2014!

Firstly, congratulations on getting going!

Secondly, come join http://www.fitocracy.com/group/7326/ as it's a good way of tracking stuff.

Thirdly, yes, padded cycling gloves sound like a good idea.

smiley - fairy


Ow that hurts

Post 3

lil ~ ACE/Scout/CE/Guru


*drags out safety helmet, knee and elbow pads* smiley - biker

Don't forget your plasters for grazes smiley - nurse


smiley - magic


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Post 4

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Well done! Lots of people are now using cycles here, since the cycle path has been built. I'd like to join them, but I think it's been too many years since I last rode, so you have my admiration. smiley - ok


I'll be interested to hear how you get on, so do write more.

smiley - island


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Post 5

HonestIago

Day 2: did the same route as yesterday but accidentally woke up an hour earlier so I left for the ride earlier which seems to have made all the difference on the deserted front. Today's observations:

1) It was marginally better than yesterday: it took me twice as far to feel like I was dying (though it still wasn't very far). Still, I think a fair portion of that is psychological because as soon as I reached the end of the road and turned around I was happy as anything.
2) The extra hour gave me time to wake up properly, have a cup of tea and read a couple of things. This seems to have helped but won't be a regular thing as getting up at 4.30 isn't fun.
3) It's really fun to beat cars at the lights. I enjoyed that a lot.
4) Taking into account my lack of fitness and conditioning, my average speed isn't bad: around 10mph. I'm certainly not crawling along like it feels at times.
5) I'm glad I've got a light bike as the steps from/to my house are a real pain and may come to be the worst part of it all.


Ow that hurts

Post 6

HonestIago

Oh and I joined fitocracy Vip, using the HonestIago moniker. It might be the RPG nerd in me but I like the levelling up system, it reminds me a lot of this: http://xkcd.com/189/


Ow that hurts

Post 7

Vip - happy 2014!

smiley - cool I love that strip as well. It's about the only way that fitness works in my brain. Have you seen A27636528 as well?

smiley - fairy


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Post 8

aka Bel

You're doing well. Just keep at it and you'll be fit in no time!

I started cycling in earnest a good year ago. First I did one tour of 10km per day, then I did two such tours each week day - with the odd 40km tour in between.

There've been a few weeks when I didn't cycle a lot (just the odd short trip to the shop and back - two miles in total), but I was surprised to see that even after nearly three weeks of not cycling it didn't show when I started again.

Padded gloves are an absolute must for me, too, or else my hands hurt.

I guess I'm lucky - in the mornings there isn't a lot of traffic yet (at 6.30am) where I cycle. smiley - smiley


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Post 9

aka Bel

OK, I joined fitocracy too, now. It made me laugh, they put me in the group: New Fitocrats - Silver Alligators. smiley - biggrin


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Post 10

HonestIago

Day 3: this article from the Guardian is really timely.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/jun/12/cycling-in-the-rain

I'm pretty impressed that I went out in some pretty torrential, freezing cold rain. It was foul out there but I figure if I can go out in that I can go out in pretty much anything: after all I'm not the Wicked Witch of the West and you can only get wet once.

Woke up at stupid o'clock again but actually I don't mind it: I wasn't tired yesterday until bedtime so maybe I don't need that much sleep. I'm noticing I've got a lot more energy when I get into work at 7.30ish. My calves and lower back were tight yesterday evening and I'm taking that as a good sign.

Today was only a marginal improvement on yesterday in distance (literally only an extra 15-20 metres before I started to hurt) but it didn't feel as bad once I did start to hurt and, given the conditions, I was expecting it to feel worse so it being any better at all is pretty good.


Ow that hurts

Post 11

HonestIago

Day 4: now that wasn't half bad. Never felt particularly rough and I'm getting quicker: did the ride in 10 minutes rather than 15. I'll see how I go tomorrow and the weekend but I think on Monday it might be time to increase the distance. I'll see how I feel with an extra mile chucked on.


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Post 12

HonestIago

Day 5: didn't enjoy that. Heavier rain than Wednesday, high winds and some stupid smiley - bleep nearly running me over by making a right turn right across my path (I had right of way and I was lit up like a Christmas tree)

Still, I'm feeling *much* better than the start of the week: I barely slowed down for the bit that was "killing" me. I think tomorrow morning I do the longer ride I mapped out on Google Maps, see what it's actually like.


Ow that hurts

Post 13

Vip - happy 2014!

Wow, you are improving very quickly, I am impressed! smiley - applause

smiley - fairy


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Post 14

aka Bel

That's really great that you're making progress that fast!! Well done you for getting out in really bad weather, too. smiley - cheers

From experience, I can confirm that your energy levels get a boost if you cycle. Plus, the weather won't feel so bad after a while, either. I cycled all through the last winter (even in -10°C). I actually enjoyed it (when it was clear and dry, that is). I don't like fog and cold, that's the worst combination.
In December I actually found myself thinking: 7°C? oh, that's not cold!


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Post 15

HonestIago

I did the extra mile. I'd thought it was flat: I was wrong. There were two hills: low but hard for me since I've always, even at the peak of my fitness, struggled with hills and because of the whole lack of fitness.

The plus side is. although it felt much longer, it only took me 5 minutes more. That's not a bad rate for doing an undulating mile. I'm not sure whether to do this longer, more draining ride (and I do feel pretty rough) on weekdays now or give it a week doing the shorter/easier ride next week and give the slightly longer one another shot next week.

Also, those of you who are actually fit and think nothing of 3 miles or riding up mountains, please forgive me for whining about bumps and tiny distances. It just feels a lot to me right now - it's hard to believe I'm the same guy who used to ride 100k around the Peak District on a whim.


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Post 16

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Congratulations, I'm sure you'll get your full fitness levels back again, from the sound of it.

smiley - island


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Post 17

HonestIago

My medium-term goal is to be able to cycle from work to the nearest train station, get the train to Leeds and then cycle home from Leeds station, before we break up for the summer holidays.

It's about 6.5 miles and there's quite a long hill on the Leeds-home bit but I've got 5 weeks to get my fitness up to the required level. I've just made my day when I looked at work to train station bit and realised it's actually a shorter distance than what I've just done this morning: if I keep this up, that part will be an absolute doddle when I attempt it.

Google maps really is a gift when it comes to looking up distances and plotting routes.


Ow that hurts

Post 18

Vip - happy 2014!

I used to commute from Bramley into Leeds and that route was fine. Bramley out to nearly the White Rose Centre was awful, absolutely awful. It's the hills that get you, and after a month I was actually glad when they decided not to keep me on.

I don't remember Stanningley Road to be that bad at the Leeds end, if you are coming in that way. smiley - smiley

smiley - fairy


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Post 19

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

It reminded me that I was told that my grandmother, as a girl, cycled everywhere, including to North Wales and back ( from Stoke on Trent ). She lived to a grand old age, and was in very good health in her old age too.

Of course, in those days bikes were probably really heavy contraptions, I guess this would be in either 1918 or thereabouts, as my father was born in 1924. Cycles were a liberating experience for young women at the time.


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Post 20

HonestIago

For the foreseeable future I'm ruling out going too far from Armley/Stanningley/Leeds Rd because once you're off that ridge it drops pretty steeply pretty quickly. The only bit on Leeds-Bramley that gives me pause for concern is the bit from the big crossroads in Armley to the top of Armley Park - I really don't like slopes. Plus the traffic: I need to get my confidence back with riding in traffic.


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