Finally back in the saddle

My cycling has been more off than on of late. I felt I was getting back into my stride when my beloved fell off his bike and broke his leg. Consequently, I’ve waited on him hand and foot for the past four – five months. Nothing particularly new but way more time-consuming than I’d anticipated. Since he’s resumed travelling on his own I’d managed the odd ride or two but hadn’t established any regularity.

He’d been riding the aqua bike down at the hospital as part of his recovery programme, as well as his own road bike on the home trainer. A couple of weeks ago, he decided he was ready to ride on the road. However, he’d still not recovered full flexibility in his hips so it was easier to ride his mountain rather than his road bike. I decided we’d ride on part of the Cote d’Azur’s network of cycle routes, steering well clear of any traffic until he got his confidence back.

It was a long hot slog for both of us and we’ve persisted ever since. He’s now back on the road bike but still having problems getting his leg over, despite the hip flexor exercises. We’ve gone out early in the morning but the temperature’s not falling much overnight so it’s still a lot warmer than I’d like. Typically, at this time of year, we’d be off out, up and away into the Niçois hinterland but we’re still both refinding our climbing legs, so we’ve been pretty much restricted to a couple of flattish routes where we try to stay away from the holiday traffic.

We know that it’s going to take some time to recover our former bike fitness but are prepared to soldier on, come what may, knowing we’ll get there in the end. I’m looking forward to less heat and less traffic as we tip into September. It’s helped that my beloved has been at home for much of August allowing us to ride together. Inevitably we start out together and then I let him go off at his own pace once we hit the cycle paths. Typically, I’ll take the more undulating route back and do a few intervals. I can now ride all the way back up the 7% average incline to the apartment without getting off and walking – result!

The incline dips down once I reach the apartment block and I always like to sprint up the last bit of the incline, preferably in the big ring, before screaming to a halt in front of the door. Last week I managed the sprint, although not in the big ring, and almost ran over one of the boys I’d raced against some years ago. He said he was impressed that I was still riding but wouldn’t be racing me again any time soon. Which frankly, is just as well! I consider it fortunate that he didn’t see me riding up the rest of the hill in what felt like, and probably looked like, slow-motion.