|Totally not feeling Flandrien at all|
So here we go, day one in the saddle in an attempt to be riding okay enough to race next year when I hit 60!
It's been three years'ish. The last year of road racing was 2015, but I finished after the 2015/2016 cyclo cross season......give or take two or three club rides. So that's three years with only the occasional tandem ride with the missus, or a café run in shorts and t-shirt along the Brighton sea front thrown in.
Now I'd like to just race evening Crits again, so I'm putting it out there so there's no hiding, like saying which pocket your going to pot the ball into.
As well as wanting to get back, I actually need to. As you get older you get the occasional reminder that you really should take care of yourself, and I've had a few.
Today for instance I've been to give bloods. Three years ago I was 69kg now I'm 82kg and because I've put that weight on so fast after giving up cycling, I've put my health in danger. If you've been slim all your life, then put it on quickly, especially around the waist.....it's not too good. Now my BMI is officially in the naughty zone, and I need to be tested for diabetes because of that. That's a far cry from winning a road race in 2013!
|No Gizmo's. I'll know when I can ride|
So there we go. I've dragged out the hack and fitted a compact as I'm so weak. The Garmin has been thrown into the back of the cupboard. No one wants to know the daily stats of a fatberg.
For my start back into riding I've chosen the Claydons, Winslow and bloody Pitchcott Hill as my testing ground. Anyone that's raced LVRC will know the area due to the road races that often cover it.
First up is Pitchcott Hill, it's a killer when you're racing up it, but with a compact chainset and a slow twiddle it's easily done. I was grateful for the small tooth count, but it does feel lacking in something, even this unfit. You just sit there. Thing is I was styling it out like I was still fit but the feedback wasn't satisfying. Basically I hate compacts, well for UK use anyway.
Object Of hate
After that it's flat, but it's very windy today. And even more reason to dislike the compact I have on.
I have a 50 up front and a 23 out back, but I can't bring myself to crossover even though you can with these things, I'm still old school. I'm already tempted to re fit the standard as a 39 or 42 is great when the winds a blowing. Guess that's why the call them 'Belgian Compacts'
And another thing new to me for 'just riding' is the use of sports drinks, tablets gels etc when I'd always been a 'Pan Y Agua' man. I do need the help though now.
Anyway the ride went okay, how soon I'll improve after three years off I don't know. I think all muscle memory would have well gone by now.
How soon I return to club riding I don't know either.
Not sure if you could call it muscle memory or not, but at one point I actually reached for the downtube shifter, or where once a downtube shifter would have been. Made me chuckle, I mean that's what you call muscle memory, only it's literally from the last century!
So happy really?. Absolutely no intention of pushing it, I'll take my time. And come Spring 2020 I'll hopefully pin a number on again. I do know one thing though. If I do make it to that start line in a years time......I will get my arse royally kicked and then handed to me on a plate.