The C-Word… Testing Distance

Yesterday I completed, not totally hitch-free, what was certainly my longest bike ride since I’ve got ‘back in the saddle’ and possibly my longest since pre-double-figures years. I cycled from my house, via a bakery for snacks, across mostly flood plains with smooth cycle paths, through a few villages on roads and then back onto the flood plans to our destination, the rather lovely, idyllic Stadtpark in Fürth (Bavaria). It was 13.3km according to mapmyrun, which makes me feeling pretty damn happy.

Lots of things were great about this ride- it is mostly flat and smooth, which is fantastic because hills are a problem on my old banger, it was beautifully sunny, fresh on the bike but warm enough to sunbathe when we pitched up for the afternoon, and it landed us at a train station so I could hop on the S-bahn home rather than struggle all the way back if I was aching (which I wasn’t at all in the end). So it could have been ideal. However, not too far in I noticed that I seem to have developed a leak in my front tyre, albeit a slow one. This may be the case or it may need another pump up, I’m not too sure. It seems too soon after the last time it was pumped for it to be natural- so tonight or tomorrow night will be an exercise in learning how to determine a leak. This will, of course, cut short my cycling experience if it is because there is absolutely no point, economically, in buying a new tube for a bike out here that probably should be scrapped anyway, when I’m going home in two months.

I was feeling pretty satisfied and nicely sleepy after my ride (and probably more after my energetic Saturday) last night and I woke up this morning feeling positive about my cycling to work and town today. Oh how I am now laughing at that thought. How do people get on a bike two days in a row? How? I am unreasonably bruised in the bottom department, and yes, it’s probably because my suspension isn’t the best and I wasn’t wearing squidgy-bum cycling shorts but still- ow! I am now not looking forward to that cycle to town tonight. I am considering riding the whole way stood up, it may be the only option.

Ps. I tried that- my thighs are burning! I use my thighs, often, to run and sprint, so why do they hurt so much more from this? I know it’s because it’s a new way of moving them that I haven’t used in years but I would have thought some of my spinning classes would have left some muscle memory.

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