26 June 2009

Huffing and puffing

Leave the bike for three and a half weeks, and you'll feel the fall in fitness when you get back on the saddle. To be fair, I'm looking after my knees too - happy that they are not hurting anymore, but weary the problem may flare up again if I give them too hard a time - so I'm not.

Patience, I think, holds the key to a full recovery. I'll take a couple more weeks easy, then start increasing the pace, then try longer rides, little by little, so that by the end of the year I feel ready to plan the next C2C. The peace of the moors, even in the thick rain and cold wind, beckons.

17 June 2009

The Angel of the North

Her smile was pure, 100% British: honest, sincere and untouched by modern dentistry. She was young, but clearly a seasoned road cyclist - nothing about her had that air of 'new' that many other cyclists (especially, dare I say, female ones) have - the little rucksack, the lycra clothing, the bike itself all had the weathered look of things that have seen hundreds of miles.

All this I observed in a fraction of a second, as she overtook me on the way back home, just at the north end of Heaton Park. I was huffing and puffing with effort, trying to keep my blooming knees in their comfort zone, while she just seem to effortlessly glide past me.

By the time I reached the M60 I'd lost all sight of her.

15 June 2009

4 years later, part II

It seems as if I've broken the back of my knee trouble, at least for now: I've cycled to work and back, twice, and I feel fine (a bit of a tingle down at the knees, but nothing too bad).
I took it easy, mind - keeping the gears low and trying to be extra patient on the up-hills, even if to the passer-by I must look a bit ridiculous, pedalling fast while moving slowly. I imagine that's the way it's going to have to be, at least for now.

So, four years (and a day) since I started cycling, I'm still at it. To think that for the first year I pedalled on the higher seven gears - is it any wonder my knees give me trouble now?. Like then, this week the weather has been rather good in Manchester. Like then, work laid out a free breakfast for Bike Week (though it was a full English back then, now it can only extend to a bagel!).

13 June 2009

Baby steps, 4 years later...

Yesterday I got on my bike for the first time since I did the C2C, over 3 weeks ago. It was only to do 400yds, but it was a start. Today I was even more ambitious: 30' of cycling pleasure, to test my knee joint before I resume normal service.

The good news is the pain I felt before didn't oome back. But there is a bit of a tingle, in the wrong kind of way, there. So, I'll have to take it easy.

Meanwhile, tomrrow Sunday 14 June 09, I will celebrate 4 years since I started cycling again - my best decision in years.

05 June 2009

Knee trouble

Went to the doctor last Weds. Since doing the C2C, over 2 weeks ago, my knees have been bothering me, particularly the right one. Plus, I'm a hypochondriac and reading up about knee trouble in cycling websites may have worsened my condition (?).

Doctor says I shouldn't worry - a condescending smile as I explained I did the C2C with not much more training than my commute to work (from zero to heroe...?). It must be a sprained ligament, keep rubbing ibuprofen gel in, and take another week. So, back on the saddle next Weds, and then gently - build it up etc.

On another tack, yesterday I saw a cyclist and a pedestrian collide at the junction of Whitworth St. and Princess St. Or rather, I saw them get up - they were reasonably civil to each other. I don't know whose fault it was, but the pedestrian looked apologetic (and very shortsighted).