18th July 2013
An enjoyable stretch out with the Rivers Ride crew and a new road bike have made this one of my better weeks, training wise.
In fact, given that I did some training, it’s actually been my best week.
The ride was rewarding for a number of reasons, ranging from fantastic weather, the good company (thanks to Tom Foster and Gary McKeating), the beers in the sun upon completion, to familiarising myself with part of the main ride route. Oh and best off all, I managed to climb Whinlatter for the first time ever.
There are a few reasons why I managed to achieve this, of which jelly babies and the thought of a pint at the end are clearly two of the most important.
My new bike might also have contributed. I’ve now moved from a heavy, hybrid bike with wide tyres to a light road bike with slick, think tyres, and I am amazed by the difference it has made. Climbing hills has gone from being a chore to a challenge.
I’m delighted to say that no only has the bike provided me with the perfect excuse to get out more, but it has also motivated me to try and provide a little structure to my training.
My biking regime has always been one of getting out whenever I can. Well sort of. It’s actually one of getting out when a friend contacts me to suggest a bike ride. I must admit that I have struggled to motivate myself at times to go out on my own.
However, since I got my new bike (thanks go to Keswick Bikes, who are supporting the Rivers Ride), I’ve found I’m willing to go out on my own, willing to find new routes, and more shockingly, am willing to embrace hills.
The last one is definitely the biggest shock. As a larger man, I’ve always avoided hills like the plague, for fear of failure and well, the pain. This included going down them because, in my mind, descending a hill meant I would have to regain the altitude at some point later in the ride!
My new bike seems to have been designed for getting up even the toughest of hills. In fact, on my most recent ride, I actively sought out the hills to see if I could beat them.
So far, I’m pleased to say I’ve succeeded.
Of course, none of this is really down to the bike but rather my improved fitness, thanks to my thorough, structured, and dedicated training regime.