Midweek I signed up for the only ride I could find on go sky ride which seemed to fit in with the rest of my weekend plans. It meant getting up at 6am and cycling 15 miles to the start line but I was totally up for it. The description flagged it as suitable for roadies and chumps on hybrids alike and I was assured an average pace of 12-13mph. Perfect.
I arrived a little early, despite setting off a little late and I felt excited – what with the latest of my chest infections and puncturegate (I went through 3 inner tubes and far too much public transport), it had been a long time since I’d really pushed myself on a ride. Well… I wasn’t going to have to wait much longer.
Waiting outside the Cadence bike shop at Crystal Palace, shivering, my stomach began to lurch as roadie after roadie arrived on their gleaming steeds, casually perching them onto the lifted bike rack with their little fingers… I suddenly began to feel VERY out of my depth and I couldn’t for the life of me work out what was going on.
It turns out that Cadence just advertise their rides on goskyride! Oh dear. And the group wasn’t splitting. When Garmin’s speedo hadn’t shown a number less than 15mph in the first 20 minutes, I thought I was going to burst a lung. I hollered to a lovely cyclist called Sam and told her of my quandary. I’d push as far as I could but at some point, I was going to have to peel off – there was just no way I could make 30 miles at that pace.
Thankfully, Sam had the Box Hill Classic the following day and was happy to take it a little easier than her usual Saturday and in a further stroke of luck, we managed to run into the group I had intended on cycling with all along – the had set off at the advertised time and somehow I had missed them! The remainder of the morning was much more to my taste and I really enjoyed the social side of things – having a lovely chat with my new 20:20:20 buddies, Sam, Adrienne, and Robert. Hey – I even managed a 4th fastest all time on one of the descents. Yippeee!
I did moan… a lot and I can’t thank Sam enough for her words of encouragement and for staying with me, even if it meant she wasn’t quite getting what she had signed up for.
By the end of the journey I was struggling, though. Cycling up that hill at the end, I did have to stop for some well-deserved Ventolin – It’s ridiculous how quickly you lose the fitness for which you have worked so hard. Or maybe I really did push myself a little too much?
Nah… after cake I managed the 15 miles home and the 15 miles over to Stoke Newington for a housewarming party where I managed to dance the night away. Notching the miles up to 75 in a day + at least 3 hours of dancing. The cycle back to west London on Sunday was less delightful it has to be said. (And I did have half an hour nap before I headed east again – I was exhausted).
What a weekend and I am so thrilled to feel like I have got the bug back again. Maybe I have got the bug again a little too much…
BUT. BUT. BUT… I’m not sure whether it was the jealousy after being the only rider on a hybrid; the delight of spending time in Lucy’s cycle centre (she has five); the very happy and exciting news of a guaranteed job on my return; the endless people who keep trying to convince me that I could be quite nippy on a road bike or the accidental stumbling upon the bike I’ve been ogling for the last few months with 40% off…
I bought this. Riccie. The new man in my life. Peggy is wonderful and we will go a long way together but I’m so excited to have this fella arriving for when I’m feeling a little more racy!!
I CANNOT WAIT for him to arrive. Please don’t send the men in white coats to get me. I am OKAY. Honest.