Managed to get some enthusiasm back into my riding after a summer of feeling lethargic. I think I can class myself as a roadie now but for 16 years I was a Mountain biker. Started in 1990 when a mate of mine realised I had a Bike type object and encouraged me to take it up on the hills for a walk. Every slope and I was walking but I enjoyed being out in the fresh air up on those hills with no- one else about. That was in the winter and gradually over the next few years I changed one crap bike to a slightly better crap bike till I got a Kona Explosif in 93. My first quality bike and it ruined me for any lower quality. Got into XC riding- never got into all the Downhill stuff and hopping the bike over rocks. Did for a couple of years try racing but even that was not for me. Got into the long distance enduros and and it was nothing unusual for me to go on a 65 mile offroad training ride for the Big One I used to do each year.
Then in 2006 I did the Big One and it hurt. I know the weather was against us but it was at this time I decided to give road riding a try. Started off on a lowly bike and enjoyed it so the Quality bike(s) came in for the road. All going well but I finished up doing most of the rides solo as my mates were still mountain biking. We used to get out on a few Metrics together but I was still a solo rider. Occasionally I would get talked into a few of the Mountain bike organised rides but My heart was now on the road.
But this year I have not been able to ride much. Last winter was cold- and snowy and windy and not nice. Couple that with a Knee problem that has carried on for most of the year so far and I doubt that I have got in more than 200 miles a month. About half the milage I would reckon on and most of that has only been on short Pie rides to the Seafront so Besides feeling lethargic- I was also getting bored.
Till last Sunday. Only 4 of us but I joined in on an offroad Jaunt. My Bianchi Grizzly was loaned to a roadie mate of mine and I took out the Kona. It may be a 20 year old bike but it still works.
Kona top of Bo-Beep.jpg
I enjoyed that ride but I realised that what I really missed was the thrill of offroading. The pic above is on a broken asphalt track that gets you to the top of the hills. It is steep and hard but after a 12 year break since I last climbed it- The Kona and my legs can still do it. Since that ride- I have realised what I have been missing and that is the challenge. Road riding is OK and I still feel that hills are the best bits- but struggling up a 15% hill for a mile with cars and trucks buzzing round you and the challenge is not cycling- It is staying safe.
So I am going back to offroading for a bit. The enjoyment I got out of last week was phenominal. Only problem is that I am so much into road riding now- that I might have to rethink my ideas on what My next bike will be. I am just a bit worried that a Cyclocross may not get me up on top of the hills as easily as the Kona did.
The hills may not be high but they Ain't Arf Steep.