A little over a month ago I wrote this blog entry about a bit of a wake-up call I had shortly after we arrived in Sydney. It wasn’t a pleasant realisation, but I wasn’t particularly down about the situation either – particularly with the ‘30 Days Of Biking‘ challenge ahead of me.
As it turns out I didn’t actually complete the 30 Days, but I did ride on something like 19 consecutive days, and I think 24 or 25 in total. Prior to this I don’t think I’ve ever even managed more than 7 consecutive days, and that’s even with training camps involved.
Did anything change? Quite simply, yes. The 30 Days Of Biking helped massively with my motivation to ride. Granted, some days I really didn’t feel like riding, and a good few days were just ‘tick-in-the-box’ rides where I swung a leg over the bike and did twenty minutes out and back in my jeans and a t-shirt. Some days even less where I just did a coffee run – I think the shortest of them was 2km. Most days though were purposeful rides, and with the hills out here it’s easy to put together a fairly lumpy ride even if you’re only doing 30 or 40km.
The impact of that is that riding here now is a habit. On days that I don’t ride I know I haven’t ridden and it bugs me, making me really want or need to ride the next day. I consider this to be a good thing as it’s given me the hunger again – something I’d struggled to achieve before we left London.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t properly weighed myself – it’s not something I want to obsess over and I know it will drop the more I ride. Wendy says I’m looking better though, and some of my clothes already feel better on me. Those 34″ jeans still feel a bit too snug, but I’m confident that will change too.
Importantly, my legs are beginning to look and feel like cyclists legs again – helped in part by a return to regular, rather than sporadic, shaving. Sure, they’re nothing on Sir Chris Hoy’s guns, but they’re a damn site better than they were!
The one thing I’m still yet to do is any properly ‘big’ rides. The longest to date has been 100km. Throughout May I’m keen to do at least one big ride a week – I’m hoping for 150km+ each time. My overall target is to break the 1000km mark for the month, which is a big target as I’ve not done that since May last year. I think it’s achievable though, and the key is in not going too big too soon.
The other thing I want to get into the habit of is early morning rides. They’re ‘de rigueur’ out here, and if I get into the habit now I should still be able to keep it up when I’m eventually able to work – which will be critical in maintaining fitness, weight loss and sanity! Being up at 5am will sting, but it’s true that it’s the best part of the day for riding – particularly with Sydney traffic…
Onwards and upwards then. My school report would probably read: “could do better” - but equally I think it’s been “so far so good”.