I didn’t dare check the date of my last post – but I know it was quite a while ago. Unfortunately life intervened with a combination of separation, divorce and ill-health (not unrelated to the previous two items). The result was much less cycling last year, culminating in a 4 month lay-off between October 2013 and February 2014.
During that time I’ve moved from Barnet to Bermondsey where I’m busy sorting out a new life in a Buddhist community. One of the up sides to this is that commuting to work on Bob is now a doddle at only 4 miles each way. One of my main worries was that my journey would be filled with huge amounts of traffic, fumes, HGVs, and all the other things that can be terrifying about London roads. The reality is very different.
One of my great discoveries in the last year is the Cyclestreets website. Quite simply, there’s no way that, on my own, I’d have found the back street route I’m now using. Over the 4 miles from my home to H2 Bike Run where Bob stays while I’m at work, I spend no more than a mile of it on busy roads. In fact much of it’s more like Sunday morning riding, even in the rush hour.
So February was largely just getting used to the commuting and starting to get my cycling legs back a bit, although last weekend I did manage my first slightly longer ride since last September – a 14 mile trip over Tower Bridge and along the Thames Path to the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames and into Greenwich, before coming back along the south bank back to Tower Bridge again. A pleasant circular ride with far too many cobbles for my liking on the first part of the journey!
Flushed with the success of that ride I decided to go further afield today. To cut a long story short, I found out what happens to legs that have had a 4 month break from cycling, and then only cycle on the flat for a month or so when I tried cycling up the hill at Crystal Palace. I think a little more conditioning may be needed before I can get all the way up without stopping at least once! Not a problem I think I’d have had before with my regular traversing of Highgate Hill and the slopes around Barnet and Hertfordshire. Still, something to aim for.