Well it has been a while since I’ve done anything that is both strenuous and stupid so when this opportunity presented itself it seemed a done deal: Cycle 175 miles? Surely. Cycle between Cathedrals and the deep blue sea? Surely again.
So I’ve signed up for Christian Aids’ ‘Cathedrals to Coast’ bike ride.
(Seriously it is for a good cause and I’m really glad to be supporting the work of Christian Aid. See the link for more details of what they do, and if you feel so inclined you could sponsor me at my justgiving address too.)
Anyway, here’s the rub. (Literally.) I hadn’t been out on my bike for what was fast approaching a year. Before that I had been cycling to work most days and clocking up to 110 miles a week. But all that had stopped and once I had signed up to the Cathedrals to Coast bike ride I realised that I would need to get in some serious training.
Lacking in nearby Cathedrals I thought it might be fun (?) to build my training rides around local churches instead. Who knows? If the training went well, I might include some not so local churches too! Eventually, so the theory goes, enough churches will mean I’m ready to tackle some Cathedrals!
And, for the cynics amongst us, I’m going to take a picture each time to prove I was actually there and some relevant – and not so relevant – stats for those interested in such things.
So, here’s Training Session number 1.
Training Session No: 1
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1 hour (There and back)
Average speed: Um, I make that 10 miles an hour!
Name of Church: Danehill something…C of E …Ummm sorry, forgot to look, too busy catching breath. Very pretty though!
Fitness Feedback: Legs – did start to burn before top of the hill. Lungs – working properly but again, burnt a bit on the hills. Stamina – have to give this a big fat 0! Didn’t feel I had anything left after 1st slight rise in the road.
Weather: Quite sunny although there was the usual headwind – there is always a headwind when I go out on a bike I seem to remember!
Roads: Ah yes, roads, it all comes back to me now. As I said, I haven’t been out on my bike for a while so have been happily cocooned inside a car for all of my journeys. My first few pedals were straight into rush hour traffic before I could get out of town. Oh boy. Someone once said that all motorists should be forced to ride a bike around town for a couple of weeks before they are allowed to drive and I’m inclined to agree. You suddenly feel both quite invisible and extremely vulnerable as the cars hurtle past you, most without even slowing down. But I remember all this now, as I head out to the countryside, realising that to some extent I’ll just have to get used to it over the next few months. I hope the ride itself is marshalled!
Traffic Tantrums / Near misses: 3 -There’s no point being pushy (unless it’s uphill, boom boom) but I think it’s time to name and shame. So, thank you Red Vauxhaul Corsa, cutting me up at the junction must have saved you…oooh…1.2 seconds of your journey. I hope you used them wisely. And hello silver VW something or other. Actually you didn’t quite knock me off, but I don’t think you knew I was there in the first place so that’s o.k. Lastly a big hello to Mr. Impatient of Danehill. This time there was nothing coming around that bend when you roared past me but I wouldn’t make a habit of it if I were you!
Wildlife: Lovely to hear the birds. At least 3 rabbits, 1 dead fox and a little thin furry something dashed across the road – could have been a weasel?
Bugs Eaten: 6 – all on downhill section. I needed the protein.
Recovery Time: Ongoing! Shall let you know next time. I felt generally much better for having been out and about though, definitely improved my mood and I had at least taken that first step towards the big ride!
See you next time,
- Why Bike in a City? (bikesandstuff.wordpress.com)
- Can cyclists and motorists learn to share the road? (confused.com)