Friday, 6 September 2013

Hit the road by Marilisa

Last week I happened to come across a notice online for our local cycling centre's open day. This is the sort of event I tend to come across the day after it's happened so I was delighted that, for once, I'd found it in time. Free entry to the facility, free bike hire for a ride round the road track. What's not to like, right?

The venue itself is beautiful. It was a training centre for the Olympics, and has excellent facilities. 2km of road track, as well as off-road/mountain/BMX tracks. It's at the top of a hill, looking down on London; Sunday was a bright clear day without a cloud in the sky, and you could see all the way across the city.

We hired two bikes; the little boy rode behind daddy (and only complained moderately about being forced to wear a helmet) and I had a bike to myself. The course started with a downhill section, so I didn't have time to familiarise myself with the gears on the bike first. I was suddenly reminded of two important points:

1. I don't like speed very much.
2. A bike going downhill on its lowest gear setting is pretty fast.

So I spent a lot of time gritting my teeth, squeezing on the brakes, and wondering what on earth I've let myself in for. My child, meanwhile, was squealing with delight and pushing on daddy's back to make him go faster. Not my genes.

I did make up for all the speed by very slowly and breathlessly pushing the bike up the uphill sections of the track, though, so balance was restored.

This bit is flat! Nobody panic. I've got this.

All in all it was a good re-introduction to being on a bike on the road, in a safe environment away from traffic. I think the last time I rode a non-static bike was about 6 or 7 years ago.

Between recovering from last week's illnesses and life being busy, I didn't get into the pool this week, but I did round off the week with a nice 5k walk (52 mins). I have no idea what the bike times and distances were; I was too busy following the boys and trying not to hyperventilate.


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