Monday, January 10, 2011


Now that it's January, I'm starting to get a bit more concerned about this upcoming ride-across-a-big-island thing that I'm doing. And since I've recovered from my self-induced ankle injury, it's time to get back on the bike in a real way. In the last 30 hours, I've ridden about 80 miles (ouch!). And I've learned some very interesting things.

1. For a town with a fair bit of cash floating around, Esher is really not good at road repair. As I stood on the side of the road last night changing my flat tire (30 min, valve stem broke on my spare tube so I had to find/patch the hole in the original tube in the dark at 40 degrees. Fun times!), a lovely little sports car came down the road with it's hazards on and a rear tire most of the way off the wheel. Oops. Today, on my second trip through Esher I saw another hazard-flashing car with a flat. Ick! Thankfully, today's ride was flat-free on my end, probably because I brought two spare tubes.

2. A bacon and fried egg bap, while delicious and unhealthy, is probably not the best pre-50 mile-with-hills meal.

3. I will be using the equivalent of a year's supply of Bag Balm for a 500 head dairy farm over the next few months.

4. Any bike handling skills that I may have once had in my halcyon Tucson days are long, long gone. I now descend hills like a Tourettes-afflicted squirrel. Audible soundtrack: squeek! Squeek! Squeeeeeeeek! (that one was my brakes). Internal soundtrack: Shit! Fuck! Shit! Fuck! (Rinse, repeat ad nauseum). Here's hoping that improves. A lot.

5. After a fair bit of time off, I can actually go out into the Surrey Hills and not give myself a hernia (although I rode perhaps the least-hilly route possible - thanks honey!).

As a bonus, it was relatively warm and the long-lost sun actually peered out from behind the clouds for the last hour or so. I got home just in time to stretch, change my clothes and grab Boo from school and head to the pool. She splashed around in her new swim cap and goggles while I lazed about glassy eyed. This was the first time in a long time I've been able to bask in the lovely post-workout glow of endorphins when I can feel in every muscle that I've worked hard, and I know I'm going to sleep like a rock. When we were in Tucson, that was the story of our Saturdays: go ride with the Shootout in the morning, beating ourselves into oblivion, come home, shower, nap and eat everything in sight before going to the movies. I got to do some of that today, adn it's been waaaaaaay too long.

Next week's goal: actually get my long ride in on the weekend instead of having to play hooky from work. Windsor is the plan - 60 miles of much flatter stuff, which should take about the same amount of time.


  1. sounds like you're off to a good start, wh. so proud that you're taking this on. on this side of the pond, my team placed third in the polar heart rate challenge thing-y - which mostly brought me to a super cheap re-up of PHRC 2.0 starting in early feb. yay! same team this time - with more motivation. we'll see how that goes on this end. keep up the good work. i can't quite do the riding with the iciness here in the windy, but i can get outside with my new running shoes. (or should i say walk/shuffle/wheeze like an old man with COPD shoes?) xo

  2. Well done team! I have to admit that being able to ride all winter (with the appropriate gear mind you) (appropriate being all sorts of high tech unnatural fibers and such) is a really good thing. Now if I can just keep from getting sick/injured/broken until the weather gets good, all will be well!

    When are you going to start your blog anyway?