Still not quite there……

A few weeks ago I took the notion to ride 100 miles. As someone who has been very active in the past I was quite certain the miles were still in the legs. The thing about cycling is unless you completely stop the speed and speed is the first to go followed by endurance. If up to this point you’ve ridden fairly consistently over a number of years it’s quite surprising what you can achieve by slowing down a little.

What if you’re not or have rarely been consistent in riding your bike? Set yourself a challenge to ride a distance in a day you think it’s impossible to do. It’s not. Join a group of friends or similarly minded folk and set about training for that challenge distance. Be realistic. We all have other commitments on our time for example Jobs, family or friends. I’ve always found consistency to be key. If you have 3 hours a week but you could spare 6 build up to that. Find yourself with extra use it well.

I made my ride with help from my friends. We stopped a couple of times for refreshments. It doesn’t have to be 100 but the sense of achievement is great. My next challenge will be 200miles in a day, I will have to train for that! It may not be this year, I’m working on a challenging but interesting route. My enjoyment of cycling is now far nearer to the touring ethic. I do still like the comfort of Lycra though. My next bike will far nearer to a touring bike with lots of bags to enable me to take supplies and camping equipment.

When I take some time off in the school summer holidays I want to ride 30-40-miles a day with my 8 year old son and camp somewhere. That’s the plan for now. It may sound like a big ask but he cycled 10 miles last summer and has done that again twice already this year. The answer was snacks and regular stops. With the Derwent Walk on our doorstep it’s quite easy to create some routes without having to ride on the road. I’m not against that in fact quite the opposite. He needs to understand how to ride confidently and safely on a road. Keep calm at all times. Small amounts of experience before they encounter this in Bikeability, at a slightly older age.

The rise of Gravel/Adventure bikes has got us very much closer to a bike that will do most of what the typical cyclist would need. I like to think of them as the natural evolution of touring bikes. Lots of extra frame mounts allowing multiple bags and additional water bottles to be frame fitted. A true multi purpose bike. Touring bikes are very much still around and are a s capable as any adventure bike, particularly Dawes Cycles excellent Galaxy. When I have my Kinesis Tripster AT built I’ll write about our adventures. With a bit of imagination these frame sets can be built into many different bikes.

If you’re after a custom build this season drop us a line or call into our workshop in Blackhill, County Durham.

One thought on “Still not quite there……

  1. Yep, totally see where your coming fro on that one.

    When I first got back on the bike after something like a 7 year absence, I was completely out of shape, and my whole attitude to get back into shape was to push, really hard to the point of near exhaustion.

    Doing this is not a particularly good idea for me, given that i’m Hypothyrodic, so it really doesn’t take much effort to pass out while hurtling along at a good 20 mph and ending up in a ditch or similar.

    Problem was, that was how I envisaged needing to do it. I read lots of fitness journals and cycling posts and all of them suggested that to get anywhere you needed to work this hard.

    In time though, I came to realize that it’s not about the speed, it’s not about going mental and trying to see what you can prove, it’s still nice to get a bit of speed up, especially on the downhill sections on a clear open road, but it’s more about the pace, it’s about enjoying the ride and the scenery around you.

    I don’t do the speed freak thing anymore (Well not all the time anyway 🙂 ) I in general just like to potter along at my own pace, I’m not training for any events these days, it’s just a nice way to get out and about and get some exercise, so I potter up and down the tracks like a doddery old geezer sometimes, it’s all still good fun.

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