In search of lost fitness

January ended up being a very quiet month on the cycling front. I tried commuting a couple of times but the total darkness made it very unpleasant on the narrow country lanes. Bone-jarring potholes appeared out of nowhere, and the temporary blindness caused by the headlights of oncoming cars was unpleasant. Then a couple of punctures in quick succession all combined to lead me back to the relative comfort and safety of the indoor trainer. We had our annual week of snow and I caught a cold. So January wasn’t a great month for the bike.

Bicycle bling - new blue tyres to match the frame

Bicycle bling – I bought some new coloured tyres to match the frame

But February has started well. I’ve been out twice for rides of an hour a piece. Today I had hoped to go for a longer ride but a combination of persistent drizzle and my inability to fully recover after a steep climb made me call time a little early. We live in the middle of a valley which gives a great opportunity for a variety of challenging climbs. But it doesn’t offer much flat, easy riding. I opted for a long, drawn-out climb which ends with a 1:5 slog to the top. There was no hiding place for my loss of fitness as I gasped and groaned my way up the road. But the most noticeable thing was my inability to fully recover from the exertion. 20 minutes later I was still feeling the effects of the effort so I decided to head home for a cup of tea and a hot shower. Knowing when to call it day is all part of the journey.

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