In my previous post, I mentioned that I’ve had a bit of a break from cycling. Which, I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. However getting back on the bike can sometimes be a challenge and I always find that the first ride can go one of two ways. A good way, or a bad way.
Let’s talk about the bad way first. It’s been a couple of weeks or even months of not riding your bike. You’ve finally decided that it would be a good idea to slip into the lycra, park your bum on the saddle and begin to spin your legs. Good start so far. However, it goes downhill from here and I don’t mean literally, otherwise that would be great.
When you start your ride, you feel stiff and lethargic. Your legs just aren’t spinning as freely as you would have liked, your chest feels tight and you can feel your heart pounding. Your gears may not be working their best and you start to notice every little click and creak coming from your bike. And to top it all off, it feels like there’s a constant headwind regardless of the direction that your facing. Not ideal. You get back feeling worse than you did before you started. That can be quite discouraging mentally as well as physically. You begin to dread the next time you decide to go for a ride.
Now, for the good way. The same scenario as before, you’re all set and ready to set off. You start to spin your legs as you mentally decided which route you’re going to take. Everything seems to be going well, your legs are spinning with ease; your speed is constant and you have a bit of a tailwind. Perfect! You’ve decided that you’re only going to do about a 10-mile round trip. Before you know if you’ve already done 8 of those 10 miles and you’re still heading away from where you started.
You continue to ride at a reasonable pace and you’re feeling pretty good, maybe you stop to take in some of the scenery and take the obligatory bike picture or cycling selfie. Maybe even a quick coffee stop? Even a steep hill or a headwind doesn’t seem so bad and while you don’t tackle them as fast as you would normally, you still do so with relative ease. When you rack up more miles than you plan to it gives you a little boost mentally. You get back home, tired, but happy, ready for the next ride and instead of dreading it, you’re looking forward to getting back on the bike.
I’ve been through both scenarios more times than I can count. And, to be honest I much prefer the latter one. Obviously. This weekend I have managed to shake the cobwebs off, get out on my bike and luckily I had a good ride. I’d planned to do about 15 miles and ended up doing almost 25. I felt so much better for doing it. I can’t wait for my next ride.
Until next time