So, the last time that I properly went for a 'big' bike ride was when I was younger. And in my head, I used to spend all day on my bike, so going for a jaunt out now (being older, wiser and stronger) should be a doddle....
To give you some background again, I am trying to become a competent triathlete, and after months of buying the gear and talking the talk, I am actually getting around to some training. So on Saturday, I went out for my first big ride - 35 miles. I know, I know, some of you will laugh at this measley distance saying you unless it meant you had to buy new tyres again at the end you wouldn't bother, this was a lot further than I thouhgt it would be in my head - and harder!
My soon to be step-father-in-law (SFIL) (took some thinking to write that properly) took me out and so off we went on one of his usual routes. Living in Cheltenham, we have lots of hills and beautiful landscapes all around to tackle.
I now couldn't give a toss about 'beautiful', especialy if it's a gruelling one (at least!) mile climb up a what seemed like never ending hill. Beautiful doesn't quite describe my heart punding in my ears, my legs shaking, and sweating like I haven't sweated in a long time.
I must say at this point that I have run 4 marathons in the past 5 years, so I am somewhat used to uncomfortable distances and not so pleasant training schedules, but I NEVER remember cycling to be this difficult. To my credit (and maybe my pig headedness) I managed to keep up with said 58 year old SFIL though I think he took it easy on me for the rest of the ride. I snuck in behind him and kept out of the wind, and on the odd occasion I tried to return the favour by taking the lead, I didn't last that long.
However, once we finished and retired to a cafe in the much more pleasant surroundings of the Montpellier la-di-da's, I felt better already. 35 miles in 2 hours was my first big challenge and though I felt sick at times and really wish I'd worn padded cyclng shorts opposed to my threadbare running ones, I felt good about what I'd done. It's just a start, but I can only get better!
Next update soon....
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