Monday, August 18, 2014

JRA – Just Resting Along

Wow! It’s been two years. I really couldn’t have imagined after my last post that I would be gone for so long. In fact a mere 4 months after being run over I got back to riding and was so happy. However mere weeks after that I was so close to being squished by a bus that didn’t give way at a roundabout that slowly riding slipped away from me. And this was compounded by ongoing issues with my back.
Anyway, I am not here to dwell on the past, but to share with any of you who might still be interested after all this time that I’m back on my bikes and I love them so much. However this being back on the bikes a very very recent thing and getting back into writing about it is part of my plan for ensuring the addiction takes hold again.

Today I did something I wasn’t sure was possible. I rode up Rapaki. Now riding up a great big hill when you are unfit after being fit is very different from doing it when you are unfit and only just starting out riding. In some ways it’s easier and in others harder. For example when you start out it’s actually pretty intimidating and scary and you’re not even sure you can do it at all. My first ride up Rapaki included at least 2 lying down crying tantrums. However once you’ve been fit you know that all you have to do is just ride slow and keep going. However the other side of the coin is that there’s a voice in the back of your mind that likes to remind you that you used to be so much faster, it didn’t use to hurt, walkers didn’t use to pass you (runners yes) and the litany goes on.

Luckily for me (I guess) I’ve been so injured and through so much in the last couple of years that that voice didn’t really have a chance over the voice of complete and utter joy at being in the hills in the sun on my beloved bike. Joyous voice had a lot to say.

“Oh my god I’m riding, up a hill!”
“Wow, it is beautiful today”
“Hmmmmmm long fingered gloves are hot”
“I wish my bike computer was working”
“This bit in the trees seems longer”
“My legs are doing well”
“My sit-bones hate me”
“My *censored* hates me more, flippin ow”
“Don’t think about the pain, you’re riding”
“Hmmmmm my back aches”
“Wow my lungs don’t ache”
“Gosh it’s peaceful”
“My front rotor is rubbing a tiny bit”
“These gloves are really hot”
“Shut up thigh and keep pedalling this is awesome”

You get the idea.  A litany of thoughts tumbling over each other in the excitement of being on my bike. And over them all “You should write in your blog again”, which is how this is happening. Out of that incomplete list of brain babble there were a couple of thoughts that I did need to pay attention to, my back and my lungs. This can be difficult when you have sit-bones screaming that you are an evil witch, but they are the two things I need to really look after now that I’m a battered old woman. So while the cacophony of thoughts raged I quietly monitored my back, which ached a little by the end, and my lungs which were really good all things considered. Of course if my bike computer had been working then this whole head noise situation wouldn’t have occurred as I would have been pleasantly preoccupied with speed/time/distance maths. Off to get a battery tomorrow.

And finally I would like to share that I have at last been able to achieve Just Resting Along. This is when you reach a portion of the ride that is a little easier than the rest (or ideally a lot easier) and instead of pushing your speed up you relax. Just spin along slowly, not worrying what anyone else thinks. Relaxing, dropping your heart rate, cruising. Just Relaxing Along is freeing. Sure others may blast past as if you are standing still, but hey, you’re not. You are still moving and your Just Relaxing Along means you can ride longer than you would have been able to if you slammed yourself. JRA allows you to achieve things you didn’t think possible. Like riding to the top of a bloody big hill after no riding at all for a year.

So I’m back. Hi! I can’t wait to see where my wheels take me. I’m like a child in a candy store, but at the moment I don’t have much fitness currency.