Just a Few Photos This Month

This month´s post is about me. Having written about so many other people, bicycles, books and what have you, it´s my turn now.

You might remember posts about century rides, about rides to meets, and so on – no such luck today. Today, however, marks a special day as it was the first time in 18 months that I sat on a road bike, and literally. A spate of phases marked by utter work overload, an accident damaging my foot, infections (for instance the genuine flu) and other illnesses (among them a recent one leading to me losing 8 kgs of body weight in three weeks) has kept me off the bike for that long. Not nice.

Now that things seem to possibly look up again (touch wood) I´ve tried very slowly to get myself re-accustomed to cycling, which is bloody hard work. In the past weeks I went out on the bike whenever the opportunity opened itself, and I was out quite a bit.

Starting out from our small town

I cycled over hills, from the distance looking at a nearby ice cream cone factory (not joking here),

and also a few trees,

and old houses.

I rode over canal bridges

and even overtook a Harley on the way.

I first used my trusty, sturdy Rohloff equipped KFS.

Today I upgraded to one of the best road bikes I so far have had the pleasure to own, my NR equipped RIH:

But would you believe that I´m still walking hills I didn´t even notice were there two years ago? Or that I wasn´t half as tired two years ago after a day of 150+kms on a heavy, 1956 Miele roadster, resplendent with a three speed hub, than I was today after 45kms (taking nearly THREE hours) on the RIH?

Will I ever get back to the shape I was in two years ago, I wonder, or will the 56 year old fart that I am have to be content with walking shallow inclines? Looks like the latter right now.

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12 Comments

  1. puddle
    Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Of course you will get fit again. Be patient with yourself. Now is the time to fall back in love with cycling.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for your reply, but it´s not that I have fallen out of love with cycling – it feels as if cycling had fallen out of love with me 🙂

      • Sven-Olof
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Most relationships need a bit of work and effort. Keep riding, and things will most likely improve.

      • Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Ha, yes, you´re right. Some relationship 🙂

  2. Ed B
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I had not ridden many, many years prior to completing Paris Brest Paris in 54 hours after a mere 18 months re-introduction although like 84 pounds of fat were sacrificed in the process. I was 56. Get out and ride. Yes, you can regain form. Not easy but can be done for sure. 56 is young.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, thank you very much for your reassuring words, very helpful. thing is, I _have been_ out and ridden recently, a lot even, I´d say. I have just not been used to having to regain form, it´s never been away until that long stretch I described.

      84 pounds lost and PBP in 54 hours? My. That´s an achievement. Congrats.

      Also 56 being young is a bit more realistic than what somebody else wrote yesterday, that I had only half of my cycling life behind me 😉

      • Ed B
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:41 am | Permalink

        As you know, regaining fitness is harder as we age. I’m recovering from shoulder surgery and some other old age stuff. so. I get it. Consistency is critical….taking a week or two off can be a setback in fitness that takes a month to regain. Intervals are also important. Knowing when to take a rest day or two is critical.I almost feel like I’m at square one but refuse to give up. Just keep plugging away……you will get to whatever goal you set. None of this is advice…….just encouragement.

      • Posted April 9, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        .. and encouragement is what helps right now, so thank you very much for all of it.

  3. Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All I can tell you is keep riding, your endurance will come back to you. I am 65. Seventeen years ago I had my first spinal fusion. I’ve had two more since then. Each one kept me off of my bike for 3-5 months. In 2007 I had my first retina surgery on my left eye. I’ve had several since then. In 2012 I had my first retina surgery on my right eye. I’ve had four more since then. Each time I was off my bike for 6-weeks or more. After every set back, I got out there and pedaled my heart out. I sweat. I pushed myself. I ignored the naysayers. I’ve recently been caretaker for a 94-year old mother who has kept me quite busy, and off my bike a lot. I’m hoping these tough times are behind me. I am about to get back into a full riding, adventuresome life. Each day I feel stronger. Each day my negative thoughts dissipate. Each day I feel alive again.

    Keep going! Never give up! You will amaze yourself.

    • Posted April 9, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      Lloyd, thank you for your long and reassuring comment. Sorry to hear about all those health problems you´ve been through. I´ll keep going.

  4. Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    Each of us is sample size=1, so no one can predict how much you will recover. I’m a member of the Seattle Intl Randos. 66 years ago, planning an ambitious collection of rides this year (including 2 1200Ks). There are a number of riders several years older than I am, who put me to shame both in speed and endurance. Certainly you’re nowhere close to any sort of upper age limit to be a strong rider.
    There is lots of good advice out there around nutrition, cross training, strength and flexibility training, using things like HIIT to improve strength/endurance/speed. Perhaps it would make sense to consider to some things in addition to just getting out and riding.

    • Posted April 9, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for your encouragement, everybody. I guess I´ve just been lucky so far, with these health issues being the first ones that have so far kept me from cycling for longer than a few weeks. You´ve all been a great help.

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