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. Hey There,

    I’m using the Journalized theme over on nitemayr.com and am unable to see images when they are aligned
    left (as with this post) is it just my browser?

  6. Hi Kevin,
    This is unfortunately a known bug with IE and aligned images on divs with z-index specified.
    I haven’t yet found a workaround. 🙁

  7. 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;

  8. 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.


  9. 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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