Took advantage of the wee bit of sunshine that poked its head above the rain parapet today to brush off a few cobwebs (or were they dog hairs?) by going out on the Dolan. This was the first time in the saddle since my arser last Saturday and I am happy to report there was no action replay of the event. As it happens, I would probably have bounced anyway as I had on 4 upper layers – baselayer (short sleeve), GoreTex baselayer (long sleeves), GoreTex windcheater (long sleeves with a natty way of wheeching off the sleeves to make it short sleeved) and my Hi-Vis vest. The latter was solely because I was planning on riding on public main roads for at least half the ride. As a result I looked like a cross between Chris Hoy and a binman. Went down to Lochwinnoch on the Beith Road then the A737 where the motorists were surprisingly good despite it being so busy. Then back home along the cycle track where the dog owners were equally surprisingly well-behaved despite my momentary anxiety on seeing an extending lead with owner on one side of the track and Fido on the other. He very kindly gathered the pooch in at the right time and we exchanged top of the morning pleasantries before I scudded off into the distance.
Overall it was a good enough ride, though I did feel a tad sluggish at times. I managed all the inclines reasonably well but did wonder if this was as much (if not more) to do with the spin classes I go to rather than getting more used to cycling again. I do feel that it’s a use it or lose it situation – if I don’t cycle more regularly I run the risk of not making the same degree of progress as I have done in the past two and a half months. Is it reasonable to expect to make that level of progress still? I reckon so: I am still far from cycle fit and my speeds are not constant enough. At best I am reaching an average speed of 12-13mph, and I need that up to 15 soon as – certainly before Etape Caledonia if I go ahead and do it. If I am still in the area after the end of the month, I will probably join the Kilmaurs club who operate out of Walkers Cycles. They have the reputation of being a friendly and active club, with good mechanisms for helping novices like me along. Sounds good to me. Walkers Cycles? Isn’t that an oxymoron?