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.


trio said...

Nearly all my riding is just riding, seems to get me fit enough and more importantly is fun!

Ade Merckx said...

Wow! if only I could ride for fun that would be loverly :-)

2Wheel Chick said...

That's reassuring to hear Trio - especially with your impressive results. Sometimes I can get so caught up in the training regime, especially as that's what many people around me seem to be doing, so I feel I've got to do the same, just so as to keep up with others in a race.
I aim to have fun as much as possible when riding my bike - whether in a race or for training. Hopefully I can still continue to have fun when riding.

Toks, I'm assuming you still have fun doing all this cycling stuff though don't you - you wouldn't do it otherwise, would you?

trio said...

I've not been riding that long, they say in your first two years just to ride. I'm not that good either so not sure training would make much difference. As to results, if you are the only female in a race it is easier ;)