Saturday, 23 January 2010

Five Months In....

Chatting at our club meeting the other week, something dawned on me. About this time last year, I decided to do my first ever "distance ride" , when I entered the Manchester to Liverpool charity cycle ride. The ride was 38 miles long and - at that time - it felt like something huge, I might aswell have been running a marathon. I'd only ever pottered around on the bike, five or six miles leisure riding could take an hour, a ride of 38 miles was a big deal for me and my fitness levels were frankly poor.

In little over five months, my fitness and ability on the bike has changed dramatically. I've lost a stone in weight, have changed my body shape and am fitter now than at any point probably in the last ten years of my life. A 38 mile ride is something that I wouldn't think twice about. On a weekend, I generally cover about 55 miles on a Sunday on the club ride and am riding around 100 miles a week at present. Since the Manchester to Liverpool ride, I've also ridden the Manchester to Blackpool (60 miles) and the Manchester 100 (100 miles). I'm now training to do the Cheshire Cat, a hilly 100 miler, which should give me a real challenge, particularly given its ride profile. To do that, I'm putting in 1,000 miles of training between Jan and March this year.

For anyone wanting to get fitter, meet some new people, find a new hobby or give themself a new challenge, I would thoroughly recommend road cycling. I've found it even more enjoyable since joining North Cheshire Clarion cycling club, learning how to ride in groups, stretching myself with longer rides and having a laugh with some new people. In a way, I'm gutted I didn't continue cycling after my teens as I've missed out on twenty years of enjoyment, still no looking back, right now I'm loving it.

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