The past couple of weekends, Marita and I have got on our bikes for a ride. Nothing too fast-paced. Certainly not the hell ride. Not even the slightly-less intimidating heck ride. Probably not even up to the standards of the gosh darn ride.
No, we did a leisurely ride down the Nepean Highway service road to Cheltenham and back, about 12Km all up. The first time we went because I mis-read the NewsDirect web site and thought there was another prized magazine waiting for me there. The second time they actually had it.
On the second run, we also stopped at Freedom and I ordered a new sofa. Finally, the old tattered green sofa I’ve been meaning to replace for about the last four years is on the way out. Its replacement, which I have been covetting for some time, is a shiny new green (different green) more squarish sofa which should arrive in about 6 weeks. It’s called “Portland”, and given the time lag, could in fact be coming from Portland.
(Helena, if you’re reading, I know you told me not to buy a Freedom sofa because yours didn’t last. But this one has a ten year structural guarantee, and I’ve bought fabric protection and arm protectors. So I think it’ll keep me going for a few years, at least until I’m ready to buy something more elaborate and expensive.)
The intention is to keep riding at least once a week, to gain some fitness, though next time I’m hoping we’ll ride somewhere other than Cheltenham.
I figure it’s better to go for a ride with an actual goal in mind, all part of making exercise part of your regular lifestyle, rather than an optional activity. Gradually it’ll be longer distances and faster speeds, I hope.
Things I’ve noticed so far:
- It had been so long since I’d ridden the bike that it was not only dusty, spiders had settled on parts of it.
- Marita is on a borrowed bike, and has had to get used to the gears and lock. At one stage she confidently locked the bike to itself.
- I have a heightened sense of awareness, and am quite possibly driving more defensively, since during time on the bike you’re much more vulnerable and watching to make sure car drivers have seen you and are going to give way where appropriate.
- In fact, I think I want to get one of those high-visibility safety vests. I may have poked fun at them in the past, but I can see the use, and basic (non-super-styled cyclist ones) are pretty cheap.
- After the first ride, I was worn out, with muscles and bum aching. (Maybe I need a saddle upgrade?) After the second ride, I felt healthier. This is good.
PS Wednesday: Raymond Chen writes that as of now, a measurement of bicycle velocity is an Armstrong, equal to 22 kmh (13.5 mph), after the speed at which Lance Armstrong ascended l’Alpe D’Huez in the 2004 Tour de France. I suspect for myself, at present I only reach Armstrong speed going downhill with the wind behind me.