After what seems like an absolute age – 4 months to be exact, I’m back.
I’m back on the bike and I have even taken the plunge and been for a run, more on that in a later post.
My knees have been causing problems for quite a while, since I rode the Triathlon course back in February my left knee has been giving me real problems and i just couldn’t put any power through it. After that my right knee had a similar problem but in a different place, more top of calf than knee really.
Something changed a few weeks ago, no more real pain (the right knee is still stiff but I think it’s more muscle than anything else) and I don’t have any problems at the moment with the left. I also started to look at the roads when I was driving, seeing how hard it might be to ride, looking for new courses or places to ride. I hadn’t felt like this since the backend of 2013 when I was out most weekends on the bike.
So it was time. Time to get the bike out, scrape the old mud off the gear changers, oil the chain and see how I went. I’ve been around the estate with my son a few times just to test the knee, but nothing more than half a mile at the most.
Not wanting to over do things first time out I decided to throw the bike in the back of the car and drive up towards the windmills. I’ve done this a few times in the past, not too close that it is only the 10km course I started on last year (yes it has only been a year since I started this) but close enough that if I have a problem I am never really too far away from the car.
So off I go, happy in the knowledge that this is just a training ride, enjoy the scenery, test the knees and see how I feel. I had noticed over the past couple of months that my overall fitness had dropped, walking up into Sheffield from work I was starting to get a bit panty, where before Christmas I was fine.
It felt good. Out on the road, peddling hard and using the top gear range more than ever. The only issue was the gear changer kept getting stuck so I was having problems changing the front derailleur up to the top cog. Not a massive issue but it kept sticking, taking longer than it should and slowed my momentum – but this wasn’t a race, just a test of stamina and strength.
To my amazement I managed to beat 5 previous segment times in Strava and also get 2 2nd best times. I knew I felt good with good power in the legs but I never thought I would have been able to go that quickly after so long out. I knew I was pushing hard in some places but thought I was going fairly slowly especially as I was a bit knackered and definitely feeling it in my chest, lungs busting and heart pounding.
There have been many times in the past where I have thought I could go around the windmills course twice, but not today. Once was more than enough and I was ready to head back to the car and go home.
Only, and I say only as if I usually cycle for hundreds of miles, but I only did 8.5 miles but I was happy. Happy to have been back out after what felt like forever, happy to have gone so quickly on so many segments and happy that although I knew I had done some exercise, I wasn’t feeling too bad. I certainly didn’t feel too heavy legged and tired as I did when I first started.
Now I have been out once, I want to get out again. Life has changed slightly since I first started and since Christmas where I was getting out every weekend for a few hours. I may not get back to those levels for a while and may need to start going out on an evening, but I am determined to get back out and put some miles into the legs. I’m even looking for a road bike to get more power and speed riding on roads and keep the MTB for off road fun.
Distance: 8.5 miles
Time Taken: 44.50
Elevation Gain: 440ft