Two months off with That Cold That's Been Going Around has led to lung of mouse and leg of crane-fly, but I'm more than ready now, and gagging, to go for a ride. But if I venture out on the road bike I know I'm going to get far too excited about being out in the fresh air, become giddy with the speed, and giggly at the mere sheer joy of being on a bike again, go too far and too fast. And die.
Compromise/ wimp out - crack the rusty lungs and remind the legs that they *should* have muscles in with a half-and-half ride on the cyclo-cross bike. Choose a route with multiple escape shutes home.
Incentivise - head out that way to the bike shop I haven't been to in ages just to say hello, turn up to the hills and skip (ahem) along the tops with the ultimate aim of a rewarding hot-chocolate back in town.
10 miles west into not really the teeth, but at least the sticky gums of a stiff breeze, procrastinate for too long in the bike shop, chatting, hoping that if I hang around long enough it will be darkness and not feeble of leg that will see me home. Eventually strike out into the where-did-that-come-from mizzle and up into the hills.
We shall gloss over the next few miles, suffice to say that it was an absolute soul-massaging painful ecstasy. I'd forgotten how much I loved this, how much I missed this, and how much I need this release. Surprisingly the legs make it back into town without taking any short-cuts for a hot-chocolate well earned.
And yes, I grovel home, but in that good happy-tired way.
I am still afraid of my road bike.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.