What I love about the summer is the ability to ride after work in the daylight. Not a great lover of night rides in the dark even with the best of lights, I love the naughtiness of being out in the evening as the day is cooling down and there’s a lovely breeze in the air.
I have recently been enjoying rides much more than I have done, don’t get me wrong I love my bike and I love mountain biking with the femoles but as a more cautious rider than some I have at times found myself lacking in fitness, strength and courage. I found it easier to plod along at the back because I couldn’t keep up with the pack. I didn’t mind as I have other interests such as running and swimming and just accepted that I went along for the pleasure of the ride and that I was able to enjoy a hobby and sport with the femoles and Dave when we went out together.
Practise and skills events have helped alot but in the past month something quite amazing has happened to my fitness levels, improved my strength, my speed and my confidence and ignited a competitive streak in me that as far as cycling goes has lain quite dormant.
Dave sent me an email a few weeks ago about the 100 push ups programme, it is the only thing I have been doing differently and the change in my cycling has been amazing and really demonstrates how the body’s core strength is used especially in mountain biking up hill, over rugged terrain and down hill out of the saddle and no longer only relying on my legs for power.
With my new confidence I have felt like pushing myself harder, no longer happy at the back of the pack I want to stay up with those in front for as long as possible, I can’t always maintain the speed out with Jill and Dave last Saturday I managed to stay with them for some time but needed to drop back, happy that I had achieved something new and that next time I’ll last longer.
Finding both up hill and down hill less of a struggle I really feel in control of the bike and have noticed the fear in my head has found somewhere else to stay while I am out having fun.
Progress with the 100 push up programme has led to adding the 200 sit up programme and seeing the benefits in the riding as well as muscle tone I don’t find excuses to skip the sessions… Well unless it’s curry night!
So tonight we were lucky we had the rain settle the dust and a blue sky and cool breeze to escort us, which was appreciated by the time we reached the top of Box Hill.
We were out for just over 2 hours, long enough to have a really good ride but back in time to not feel too drained for the final day at work before a lovely Bank holiday, with also the Friday in between ready for the Saturday morning ride.
I am really looking forward to fitting in an evening ride one night a week over the summer and I have a new reason to do 2 rides a week now.
Dave has treated me to a new bike…
Now that’s a thread for Saturday.