Life

On yer bike!

Saturday was busy.  At least, a lot seemed to happen.  In the morning I went bike-shopping (see my previous post about why I needed a new bike), and came home having only been to one shop.  £105 bought me a nice mountain bike with 21 gears and front suspension, and included a new saddle (the one the bike came with was a tiddly little one, which wouldn't have been any good at all, so I upgraded to a slightly nicer one).  The most scary part was in fact not buying the bike, but getting it home again on the back of my Mini!  Still, I know what I'm doing with that bike rack, so it was on good and tight and bike didn't move an inch, even over the bumps in the road.  It's just rather worrying when you see the bike sticking out either side of the car by a substantial distance!When I got home I took the bike for a ride, something I've not done in years.  My leg muscles complained almost instantly, but thankfully I managed to ignore them long enough to get a good long ride out of them.  At first I just cycled round the block, getting used to the bike and working up some confidence.  Then I started exploring some random roads in Wivenhoe that I hadn't been down before, found a few footpaths I never knew existed, and generally enjoyed being back on a bike again.  Then I ended up taking the bike off-road for a bit, and found some fields that I didn't know were there.  It was hard going, and I found a fair bit of mud, but I guess if nothing else it was good for the bike to know what it was in for!  After about half an hour of cycling I came back home again, thoroughly worn out but satisfied that I had had some exercise and shown the bike who was boss.

New bikeNew bikeNew bikeNew bike and oldNew bike gears

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By Matthew, ago
Life

Getting back on the road

For once, I'm not referring to my Mini.Once upon a time I cycled everywhere.  I cycled to school, I cycled home from school, I cycled to see people, I cycled to church on occasion, I cycled to Brixham for a day out, I cycled to Exmouth (via the Starcross ferry) for a weekend, I cycled to university, I cycled to town, I cycled to Tesco.  It was my primary form of transport, it took me everywhere, and was very reliable.  Then I got a car.  At much the same time I left university and started working from home.  That meant that not only did I not have to go out as much, but when I did I had the luxury of a car to take me there.  There were several results to this: I travelled further more frequently, I joined the local Mini club, I spent lots of money on accessories and maintenance, and I got terribly unfit.The last of those results is the one I've been most concerned about.  The lack of exercise, combined with the joys of married life, has left me with a slowly-increasing fat reserve, something my body simply isn't built for.  I have always been slim, always been light on my feet, always been fairly fit.  But now I have a bulging stomach, my leg muscles have turned to jelly, and I feel lethargic most of the time.  It's not that I need to go on a diet, I just need to start using some of the energy I'm taking in!  So, to combat the problem, I'm going to start cycling again.(more…)

By Matthew, ago