On Yer Bike!

I knew as soon as I sold my last bike that I would want another one. Within three weeks of saying goodbye to the Hardrock Sport, I had a new Specialized Hardrock XC. Specialized Hardrock XC(Click the image for details.)

It’s less of a bike than the Hardrock Sport but that suits me fine. It doesn’t have front suspension negating the weight savings of the Aluminium frame or absorbing my energy when I power on. I miss those great disc brakes though, but maybe I’ll get them fitted on this one at a later date.

So I’m back riding after an 8-month break. I started off slowly. I cycled from home to train station in the morning. Then get the train to work. There’s no component at the other end, my office is next to the train station. I would then catch the train back to my local station and then cycle back home. A hair under 5 miles a day. A good start. It was no challenge at all.

I did two weeks of that and then decided I was ready to cycle all the way home in the evening. That journey home is eleven and a half miles! Much more of a challenge.

I was not surprised to find that the first couple of hills were very hard. They are short but steep. I soldiered on with some sections being quite a strain. But then, around half way home, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t hard work! I was cruising along at a comfortable 15mph, legs pumping but not working hard. Breathing was regular, not laboured. Just like 8 months ago. In all the journey took 55 minutes to do the 11½ miles.

I’m amazed at the human body. With the trip home from my previous job only 7½ miles and having had 8 months off the road I really thought I would struggle to do that distance . I guess my fitness levels must have been pretty high. The next four days were pretty much the same, though my time home got longer towards the end of the week. I think that first Friday’s journey took 65 minutes.

Since then, I’ve done another three weeks. I’m clocking up a little under 70 miles per week. The journey has become slightly easier. I have been consistently taking 55-60 minutes. Tonight was definitely under that. There is one stretch about ¾ of the way through that has been a real struggle, it is long hill. Not too steep, but quite long and with a steeper bit in the middle. A change of gearing strategy has helped there and I’m managing it better.

Over the next few weeks I want to increase my morning distance until I’m doing the whole journey by bike. That will be nearly 125 miles per week. That should keep me fit!

9 thoughts on “On Yer Bike!

  1. That’s great! I’m at home now with my kids, but back at my last job I commuted 6 mi each way by bike, from my house in Watertown to downtown Boston 12×5 = 60. Do a few errands and a weekend ride someplace nice, pretty soon it’s 100 mi a week. Given the fitness problems so many N.Americans have, replacing commuting with exercise is such a great idea.

    I completely agree, too, with ditching the extra weight of hydraulics unless you are actually riding off road. I think people think they need it for potholes, but really, you don’t. It’s just an extra 7-8 lbs you have to power down the roadway.

  2. hey is anybody doing/going or have friends in the marathon,
    i just drove up and back from sommerville to move my sister from
    watertown to such .i’m glad i did it late at night. friday nite came home saturday nite..anyhoo have fun good luck?

  3. i ride to work whenever i can, its about 5.5 miles each way. i love it. i feel so much better for it. when i get to work im more awake and can plan my day clearly. if i didnt ride i probably would never get any exercise.

  4. Just two weeks ago I got on my bike for the first time in about 15 years. I had to replace the cables, tires, tubes, etc. I also purchased a new seat and a rack that goes over the rear tire; I strap my laptop to it for the commute to work — which is a mere 2.4 miles if I go the long way.

  5. Found a fix!

    Added an img style inside of the “.storycontent” class, that marked all images as “position: relative” fixed it right up!

    .storyContent img {
    position: relative;

  6. Kevin,
    That’s great! I’ve known about this problem for a couple of years and never seen a solution for it. I don’t use IE so it’s never really bothered me. But I’m really glad you found a fix for it.


  7. Love the bike, thought you might want to have a look at my website, I have a link to your blog from mine anyway.

    If you need a cool skateboarding or bmx biking t-shirt, check out the web site.


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