Blazing Saddles

Well spring has sprung and May is heading for the “out”  door meaning that the longest day is now hot on its heels. Facebook very kindly reminded me that by this point last year we had dipped toes (and a whole lot more) into the water in prep for our charity swim and perhaps with a cycle challenge looming it is really time to get some butt in gear (by which I don’t mean lycra cladding posing as cycle shorts (more on that later), and start racking up some miles. So cycle training update follows. Firstly let’s get the excuses sorted. The new puppy Bella has proved that she can be a proper time waster, not least when she is making me do my best Fred Flintstone impression (the bit where he puts Baby-Puss the Sabre Toothed kitten out) by darting through any door opening wider than an envelope and refusing to be on whatever side I want her to be.

That aside I’m pretty comfortable with progress so far. Like last years challenge where we all started woefully ill prepared and ill-equipped this year has seen a very steep learning curve (and a few quite steep hills climbed) around the whole world of cycling. It’s not quite “all the gear and no idea” more like a fair smattering of previously unknown essentials that has for me seen a small increase in my understanding of the physics of self propulsion.

New arrivals have been (in no particular order) The Bike obviously, Lycra with copious amounts of padding, (linked to the razor sharpness of both the saddle, but also the tyres which can transmit the smallest of road imperfections (of which Poole seems to have an abundance)), anti chafing cream (unfortunately called Assos- Marketing trick missed there I think) and various pumps, spare inner tubes, energy gels and water bottle holders. Cant need much more can I?

And so onto the road, I’ve had a few sessions that usually start with me saying to Caroline, I’m off and then underestimating how long for. My real downfall is in forgetting that for every mile I’ve cycled away from the house there is another to cycle back, meaning that the trips have been as long as two hours on occasion. It does however mean that most weeks I’ve managed to get between 50 and 100km covered, which given that some of the team have yet to swing a leg over their bike I’m pretty pleased with. I’m actually really enjoying it now and really pleased with the ultra padded shorts. Lets hope we can keep the Saddles Blazing now until September

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