Successes and failures

It turns out that cycling is vaguely enjoyable. I like the whizzing along on the flat picking up speed but I have to keep reminding myself that so far I have been out on the bike only three times. I have not yet tackled hills, very long distances, punctured tyres, chains

coming off, me coming off and so on.

I think I managed about 9kms yesterday and 13-14kms today. I’ve tried using my little odometer today and that said 13.6kms. In contrast, Strava seems to think I did only 0.5km so there’s something wrong there and Map My Ride said 8.14kms but it looks like neither app had good enough GPS signal. I’d say 13-14 would be about right and that is scary as it took me an hour so by that rate, the 90kms day in Sri Lanka is going to take 6.5 hours if (and that’s a massive if) it’s on the flat. Hmmmm.

My video explains my progress on changing gears and using the brakes (in short, very little) but other things I don’t really understand include what do you about those times when the wheels are going round so fast that you can’t pedal at all? Is that OK? It seems a little bit like cheating but it’s a welcome break from pedalling.

My current cycle track has a teeny tiny incline. It may as well be Everest as I just can’t do it. It just feels so hard and I end up hopping off my bike and pushing it. And even coming down is a nightmare as I have to use the back brake and my bike skids all over the place. I must be so unfit and yet I have been going to the gym regularly. I feel like I’ll never get to the point of being able to cycle uphill as I can’t see I can get hugely fitter in such a short time.

In other news, I bumped into a colleague who expressed surprise at my doing the trek. She’d heard it through the grapevine. She was keen to point out the phrase saddle sores to me. No, never heard of them… Then I was telling this to another colleague who declared it could be a lot worse as I could get diarrhoea as well! That’s a new disaster theory at least. I’m up to 8 catastrophist now. They’re on a list in my phone as now there are so many of them I can’t remember them all! Shortly after this, I bumped into a mate I would consider to be sporty and she said to me, “you know Helen, I really think you’ll do it”. What a confidence booster! That will keep me going a while longer anyway.

So, the weekend plan is to cycle both days and try to do a bit more each day. Next week looks like a total disaster on the cycling front as I have so many pre-Christmas functions to attend. I will never be ready for this trek!

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