Hello, I’m Carl, the most fanatical of our merry band, and probably also the laziest. I profess to love cycling, yet when the opportunity to write about it comes along I play video games, wash up, sleep, anything but put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Anyway, I’ve been shaken out of my exestentialist funk by a number of things, things worthy enough to be “blogged” about (possibly).
1) The ressurection of this site.
The PRBC existed before this blog, and it existed after this blog went to grass, it continues to exist with this blog or without it. I like having this blog, and I like that Ben writes most so I don’t have to. If this blog should become moribund once more, rest assured that the PRBC will live on…
2) I no longer commute by bike.
Whaaaaaaat?! What kind of heresy is THIS?! Well, I’ve moved jobs. Instead of working 12km from home, I now work about 300m from home. My commute is 8 minutes. On foot. 5 if I run. I walk. But, this development brings me onto my next points.
3) Face plants and new shoots.
So, not cycling to work, I let my riding slide quite a lot. I loved cycling to work, and by the end of my tenure of my previous job, it was the only thing I loved about going to work. I went from riding 180km a week to riding maybe 35km if that. I couldn’t motivate myself to go out when I didn’t really need to. I got out of shape. I lost my riding legs. I got slowwww. So, I started going out once a week with a PRBC associate, and on one of these rides I took a nose dive into the tarmac and messed myself up pretty good (see pic).
I couldn’t ride at all for a month, and this enforced time off the saddle made me re-appraise what cycling means to me. Because I couldn’t ride, I wanted to. I wanted to climb on my bike and ride out of the door so badly. My fitness had already got pretty bad, but now it was getting to be almost as bad as when I first started riding. I also got moodier, more introspective and more depressed not to put too fine a point on it. I realised that riding a bike basically keeps me sane. It’s my prozac, my therapist, a best friend that accepts you while exposing your weaknesses and encouraging you to overcome them. It’s better than any gym membership, and above all it’s freedom. You. The Bike. The Road.
So, as soon as I could, I started riding again. I set my alarm clock for 5am, got up before work and out I went for 20km. Then I did it the next day, and the next. Now it’s routine. As much riding as I can fit in before 7.30am (you can get pretty far if you set off on time!) My fitness levels started creeping back up. My mood swings went away. I started to feel good about myself again. I’ve now become a different type of cyclist. Not a commuter. Not a racer or a tourer. Cycling is therapy for me. It’s a drug. And if I stop taking it I start to break and go wrong. There are no junk miles. They all count.
Expect further posts about such diverse topics as The British Summer of Cycling (TM), Lance Armstrong, books about bikes, my inability to ride a mountain bike, and whatever other garbage I can think of writing.