To those who know me, you’ll know that for quite some time there was a definite lull in my getting on a bike. Almost like trying to get a clapped out Vespa going, over the past few years it was a bit cough, splutter, cough, wheeze… stall.
For some reason though, while up in Queensland last Christmas, I decided out of the blue to get up early and go for a ride on Christmas morning; it probably had something to do with the impending Christmas onslaught and bizzare lack of daylight saving, meaning at 5am it was light and already 20 odd degrees. That first ride, which had me discovering off-road track right next to the famous Gold Coast beach line was like a total engine rebuild and I ended up getting out pretty much every day afterward up on the Sunshine coast, rain or not.
Since then, other than a few weeks around the time I went over to the Taipei Cycle Show, I have been turning the wheels and been good about going to the gym on a regular basis. Now that it’s become cold, that motivation has definitely waned and I have not been out on the bike for a few weeks. This is not to say the legs are not turning, they are, just indoors on the bike at the gym. I am damned sure riding one of those things for 45-50 minutes is harder than riding an actual bike, because there is no ‘coast time’, it’s just pedal, pedal, pedal….. maybe that’s the attraction to single speeding? None the less, if it has not been the bike or the gym, then out the door and walking, so that 4-5 days a week, something has been happening.
But why the sudden burst that’s now in its sixth month? Well, I am beginning to think that age has something to do with it and after moving past a ‘certain age’, you suddenly realise that waiting another few months to get back on the wagon only makes it that much harder physically and worse, mentally. I have seen it before in people that I know, when that age came along it was as if a rocket was lit under their arse. For some it lasted, for others it fizzled. None the less it happened and I am wondering if that’s happening to me? A plus too I have found in all of this is that after all those years you know what your body is doing and when something goes wrong, rather than trying to fight it and make it worse, you have a more sane view and realise the faster road is to back off and let get better rather than fight it.
What’s more, that damned donut you ate takes three times the effort to loose… and who wants to give up donuts?
Next month I take delivery of the first production sample Mountain Cycle. Not a full susser but a carbon hardtail which I’ll be running with a rigid carbon fork and 2×10 as an urban menace. I have a feeling that this will be a turning point in my riding because I have not had an officially light bike for years – maybe 5? Pushing a big 6″ bike around with 1×9 gearing might get you fit but it’s as engaging on the road as watching paint dry and while I have a little section of singletrack worked out in the local park, after a few weeks it gets a little old. The idea of getting back on a bike that’s fast I am finding intoxicating and in a childish sort of way, July for me is almost like Christmas when you’re a child; I’m thinking that I might actually get back to riding some of the old road loops I used to years back.
Bike aside, I am thinking I am on the wagon once again. After six months, it’s got to the point that if I don’t do something each day, I’ll go a little potty and it gets worse… if I have not spun the legs for a few days, I start loosing the plot and that’s the sure sign of being back on board. Most importantly though is that the bike is fun again, not a pain, and riding up the hills around here does not leave me thinking I’m about to expire but rather wondering where that strength has come from. It’s even got me thinking about events later in the year, and that is something I have not done for a very long time.
So is there a morale to this blurb? Maybe. If there is it’s that maybe getting older has its advantages… maybe.