Monday, 20 April 2009

Just Riding the Bike - Down South

Sometimes I get moments where I don't want to see my bikes, never mind ride them. In fact my Specialized that I used in Mallorca was sitting it's bag for 10 days after I returned to London. I couldn't bear the idea of having to ride in anger - whether to train or to race or just to do a stupid commuter race.

I definitely get a "yeuk" feeling when I think that I'll have to strap on a heart rate monitor, ride within a specified zone, do a certain number of intervals or heavens above - use a power tap.
What's wrong with just enjoying riding the bike - not counting the miles or the average speed, not needing to watch the cadence - just simply spinning the pedals as you amble through the country lanes and contemplate the pleasant landscape in the warm sunshine.

View Saturday club run in a larger map
So that's what I did last weekend. On Saturday I didn't actually start my bike ride until around 2pm, as I'd been running in the morning. As I still hadn't unpacked the road bike I chose to use my cyclo cross bike, which was ready to go and sporting nice new road tyres. The ride wasn't very long - just the Saturday club run route done in reverse - 30 miles. I had a very pleasant ride, though when done the "wrong" way round it made for a tough first half, with one climb being a proper 25% gradient. That aside, it was an enjoyable ride and I felt free. On my own, with no wheel to chase and very few people on the roads. I only saw a couple of other cyclists, the occasional car, and no horses.

View 269 - Edenbridge Loop in a larger map
Sunday was a longer ride. By then I had assembled my road bike so was able to take that one on it's first Spring outing in London. Again, it wasn't a long distance - 50miles of pootling through the country lanes of Kent, taking in the local cyclist haunts. I even stopped and took photos of the bluebells, which was a nice way to break things up before tackling the dreaded triple of Yorks Hill, Toys Hill and Titsey Hill on the homeward run.

By the time I got home, London was still basking in warm Spring sunshine and my legs felt like they had been well exercised but I wasn't shattered. More importantly, by the end of the two days I had re-kindled my love for my bikes and I felt ready to start cycling again. Looking forward to more pleasant cycling.
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