Stage manager duties finally finished for the season, and I now get a break through until the end of October, so pub rides are back. The distance is fine – I did 100k a few weeks ago – but my speed is still a work in progress.
Checking the Strava stats of a couple of other participants, though, I concluded I would probably not hold up the pack too much and so ventured out last night.
It was an easy one in some ways – to a pub five minutes from home, taking the long (20 miles) way round to get there. But it did mean a quick run home afterwards!
Speed was fine – the only part that was sketchy was the trail/gravel section but that was mainly because I was on 25mm tyres which are Not Intended for gravel. The bike doesn’t take anything larger and the other bike, that does take larger tyres, still has a J-shaped derailleur cage (the result of a stick into chain, chain into spokes, accident – which thankfully only damaged the bike and not me). That bike sort of works, but is missing gears that my knee needs. It’s awaiting stock for a replacement, mostly because I decided to take advantage of the Cycle to Work scheme and upgrade the groupset to make hills easier on my somewhat battered knee.
The hills on this ride were also fine – knee didn’t protest too much, even when I ran out of gears for spinning. Looking at stats, I was also fairly quick by recent standards – I was faster in 2013-2015; some of this is likely because I am now lighter than I have been since 2015. Working on the rest of the weight loss as well; what’s working for me right now is eating quite a lot of protein. Turns out that when ‘they’ say people in the West eat enough protein, they aren’t referring to me specifically. I did eat the ‘recommended’ amount but it also turns out that I need more than the standard recommended daily protein intake to lose weight (and feel better overall). The weight loss imperative is somewhat impelled by duff back and duff knee, of course. Having less for gravity to operate on can only be useful.
My watch thinks I destroyed myself with the ride (I’m ‘over-reaching’ and shouldn’t do anything today, apparently). I did do the mobility work session, however – and managed it early morning, even better.
ETA: following on from the last post – knee issues are real. Cortisone & lubricant injections are the current treatment, hoping to postpone replacement as long as possible. The cortisone took its usual time working but has now firmly improved things (my knee no longer looks like a have a small cauliflower inside it).
My goal for this was to complete a 100k ride, which I did at the beginning of June. Planning to do some more through the rest of the year, but not to increase distance – working on speed and strength now, instead. Next summer I’ll build to 200k, I think. Still working out some of my motivation for all this – I do like puttering out for the day, but I’m not sure I want to go back to > 200k rides. I think most of the motivation for 400k+ was the shock/awe attention from people, which I rather liked. Still do like, but I don’t think I want to chase it any more. Riding within myself, taking photos, enjoying scenery, seems more my thing. I do want to do some multiday rides – some of the Sustrans longer routes, for example.