Originally Posted by Banded Krait
Traumatic experiences stick with us because the extreme emotions we experience at the time help make the memories longer lasting. In essence, you are suffering from a light form of post traumatic stress disorder.
I have an inkling of Retro's feelings. I just got out alive in the 2009 Victorian bushfires that killed more than 170 people, including 34 in a nearby township. I lost a lot of interest in cycling right then, despite having put in my fastest century the month before and being, arguably, the fittest I had been in decades.
When Machka arrived to live in Australia about six months later, we went for a ride. I came up to a corner with no shoulder and a log truck bearing down. Normally, it wouldn't have bothered me, and it didn't bother Machka just ahead of me. But I bailed into the ditch. I was very nervous.
And about six weeks after Machka arrived, she was hospitalised for a fortnight with deep vein thrombosis. She went on to medications that affected her physical activity, and, because of our living arrangements post-bushfires, our opportunities to ride were sporadic. We put in centuries, and randonnees up to 300km, but we weren't really enjoying them and DNFed quite a few, including short 100km events.
We are also both battling to get off weight.
Last August, things started to improve somewhat when a fellow randonneur lent us a tandem to try out. It helped tremendously and we bought our own in January.
We had set our goal as being Paris-Brest-Paris in August this year, but our lack of fitness and motivation after the DNFs had us as non-qualified, and settling for a trip instead to Vancouver to see Machka's folks and tour a bit around that area.
We've slowly been getting back our motivation to build fitness and despite being winter here, I have been enjoying our weekend rides a lot more, and we are now looking at doing more indoor training.
The goal of touring on Vancouver Island is one of the reasons. Getting our bodies back in shape for the new summer season is another. And the desire just to feel better is a third reason.
Oh, and a bit of retail therapy along the way -- new Ti bikes for each of us, the tandem, and some good cold-weather riding gear, for example -- has helped. I mean... you buy, you gotta use it, eh.
So, yes, it can be a long haul, but worth it, I think.
Retro, you mentioned something about envying someone who just jumps on their bike and goes without helmet, in sneakers on platform pedals. Have you tried doing that, too?