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It’s been a pretty difficult eighteen months, both on and off the bike. Don’t worry, this isn’t about to become a full blown confession of marital / addiction / relationship / career (tick one) issues in my life. It’s a bike blog, so I’m talking about my relationship with my bike. That being said, my relationship with just about everything has proved difficult when almost constant pain and discomfort have been with me everyday.
I’m not going to bore you with the medical details, but a misaligned pelvis seems to be the core issue. Along with some a hip rotator problem. But HEY, it’s not a problem anymore, for after months of various medical professionals being paid to basically torture me, without success, I’ve finally found someone who has treated and it seems, ‘cured’ the issue. I think cured is a slight overstatement, he has at least it seems got to the core root of the problem, treated that and everything feels better than I can remember feeling.
So to celebrate, I’ve entered the Etape Caledonia which looks like a stunning 80 mile ride. It’s on closed roads as well, which should be a real pleasure. The downside is I have less than ten weeks to prepare, which is going to be tough given my low base fitness level. A friend is dropping some rollers around this week (the type you have to balance on) and assuming I don’t come off them and cross the dining room at 20+ mph it’ll be a great first step.
At the start of this year I set the target to join our local cycling club. The idea was to encourage us to go out in the bad weather as we had missed so many rides over the winter and if you are meeting others you are more likely to go out.
Same for visiting the gym – right?
Then I thought I’m not fit enough – so I better go to the gym and do some spin classes to get in shape or I’ll never keep up with the guys. Then that didn’t happen. Then last month I developed a back problem which still is not fixed completely.
So I haven’t joined the club and have hardly been out on the bike (apart from one blissfully sunny Sunday in early March which at least remnded me i love cycling!) But Don’t worry, this litany of excuses is going somewhere…
Because there is a ladies only ride organised by the club (Cheltenham CC) this Saturday. The organisers have promised it’s flat and as I know where they are going i believe them.
They have also laid on escape routes and support which has reassured me that my lack of fitness won’t be a problem, it’s just whether my back will hold up. But I really want to show some support and meet some other female cyclists – so i think Might just give it a go…
If you are in the Cheltenham area have a look at the details here and come along too. By the way I’m not Louise Bish the organiser though I can’t wait to meet her!
Don’t try this at home…
It’s that time of year when we are all trying to lose weight and starting our New Year resolution diets. Nobody has to watch their weight more than pro cyclists and I picked up the following extreme diet method from Tyler Hamilton’s book “The Secret Cyclist”.
The book is primarily known for the detail it reveals about extremely dangerous and illegal methods of performance enhancement which clearly I’m neither condoning nor advising. It is extremely readable though and contains some lighter moments, one of which made me (and several people I’ve retold the story to) laugh out loud.
In it, Tyler describes in detail the need to lose weight to improve his power to weight ratio for climbing in the Tour de France. The following solution for weight loss is given to him by his team boss Bjarne Riis.
“On return from training drink a large bottle of fizzy water and take a couple of sleeping tablets. If you’re lucky you won’t wake up until dinner time, if you’re really lucky you won’t wake up until breakfast”
Now that’s how you get down to under 4% body fat!
Well I know you are supposed to post your New Year resolutions on the 1st of January but I was too busy reading what has turned out to be our best cycling present: Tyler Hamilton’s “The Secret Race”. It is an amazing account inside the world of pro cycling and the world and psyche of Lance Armstrong and I can’t wait to finish it!
The choice of cycling New Year’s resolution in this house was both surprising and obvious. Surprising because my husband’s suggestion was we join a cycling club and obvious because that is the standard recommendation for a new cyclist.
I have been cycling 5 years and thanks to the company of my husband and his best mate who are such old hands I have had plenty of guidance and support into road cycling. But where did they learn? You guessed it – a cycling club as teenagers. Their original club now consists of a few old boys and an increasing number of mountain bikers and out of loyalty until now the husband could not countenance joining what it now our local club. Until now…
But now due to illness we are down to a duo and that and the persistent bad weather over the last few months has lowered our motivation. It’s missing a social element and we are only letting ourselves down if we chicken out of going out in the elements.
So we have decided to embrace the advantages of joining a club that new cyclists are routinely given:
Hell we might even make some new friends… I’ll let you know how we get on.