Riding Solo

Its less than two weeks now until I do my cycling challenge, riding 35 miles in The Great Kent Bike Ride.

I will admit that at the beginning of this month I had a bit of a wobble about it. Its because we still do not know if Rob will be recovered from his shoulder injury in time. Gah, its so frustrating! He still has not got the go ahead from the hospital to start cycling again after 10 weeks!

So I was being a bit of a Debbie Downer, thinking shitty, over dramatic thoughts like “how comes every time that I get my hopes up about something, it never works out for me?” etc and generally being a self indulgent one women pity party. I also didn’t train for two weeks.

Thankfully, I snapped out of it. And after asking everyone under the sun if they would like take Robs place to no avail, I have decided to do it on my own.

So yeah, I am going to be brave and ride alone, and hope that I will not get lost on route! (Im planning to just follow the crowd, that is if I can keep up with them, of course!)

My main concern about going it alone is who the hell is going to hold my bike for me when I go to the toilet? I guess I am going to have to rely on the kindness of strangers for that one! As I said to Rob – “its alright for you men, you can hold your bike with one hand and your **** with the other hand!” Rob reassured me that this is an organised, civilised event, with plenty of portaloos on route and snack stations to refill my water bottle etc. Phew!

As per usual, I have panicked and left everything to the last minute with my training! I have been out riding once a week around my local park since April, clocking up around 10 – 14 miles each session. But not done anything this month! I now need to push it up to 20 miles and get out more frequently.

I have also done the majority of my training on my own, as I could not find anyone to train with, and my work colleague only came out with me 1.5 times (she went home early on the 2nd session as she felt sick!)

In a way though, training on my own has been good. Rob pushes me too much and confuses me with too much technical information about gears and stuff (its like a driving lesson with your Dad, it never works! And you never listen to you OH!) On my own I have been able to go at my own pace and learn and improve as I go along. And I have got to know a few of the regular dog walkers in the park!

To encourage me to do the ride Rob has treated me to some new fancy pants cycling bib shorts (again causing more toilet concerns for me, but I won’t bore you with them!) that have some super-duper padding in them, so that I will feel like a pro (I hope) and not walk like John Wayne for the next few days afterwards! (I really, really hope!)

I have also bought myself a new bike. Yep, I own two bikes now! Its a cheap secondhand road bike which I need to learn how to use. We bought it from a local company who refit and restore old retro road bikes. Alas, mine is not a cool, vintage, retro, hipster type bike, its another recent Halfords model. It has been serviced, cleaned, has a new chain, stem, brake pads, tires and some other important parts that I cannot remember fitted. More importantly its recycling and supporting a small business and a good cheap way of getting a decent bike!

Its me at the Cyclopark in Gravesend yesterday!
Its me at the Cyclopark on my new bike smiling awkwardly in Gravesend yesterday!

Road bikes are better for riding on roads apparently! Who’d a thought, eh! Rob was going to put some road tires onto my mountain bike for my ride, because according to him I would have less friction and go faster etc (ha!). But I decided to take a punt and invest in a road bike, as I definitely want to do more cycling events like this in the future. If I cannot get on with the curved handles and the different riding position, I will just sell the bike on. At the end of the day, I will still be better off than if I had hired a road bike to try out etc.

So anyway, please don’t feel obliged to, but if anyone fancies throwing some of their hard earned pounds at me for encouragement and to support a charity raising money for vital hospital equipment, here is my Just Giving page! (Well technically its Robs, and was meant for the both of us, but now its just for me! – You know what I mean!)

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