1000 miles: The first month

It’s the last day of January, so here’s a little summary of how my 1000 miles in a year is going. Firstly, I’ve met all my targets with a little to spare, having ridden 108.63 miles against a target of 84.70. I’ve ridden on 21 days, with 10 inactive – 3 of which I wasn’t at home anyway, so in truth only 7 ‘lazy days’. On days when I did ride I average 5.17 miles, and my biggest day was the 13.36 miles I rode yesterday. I’ve had three punctures, lots of rain, some ice and even a flood to contend with, but so far I’ve largely stuck to my “no car to town” rule, with a couple of excusable exceptions.

My fitness is so improved compared to when I started riding again. It’s only about three months ago I’d be struggling to climb stairs after only a couple of miles riding, whereas now I could probably ride 10 times that if I tried before the same level of exhaustion set in. I’ve lost three pounds or so, though the visceral fat I’m most interested in reducing seems to be stubbornly staying put. Current weight is around 12st 3lb (78kg).

The bike is performing very nicely at the moment, punctures aside. I still reckon my most inspired purchase was the Brooks saddle, as I’ve never felt even the merest hint of discomfort from it. My grips are a little troublesome though, and on that bumpy path yesterday I really felt it in my palms. They are the original grips so I’m loathe to part with them, but if I’m to do any significant distances I may reluctantly have to go for something a bit more forgiving than solid rubber.

A problem I’m coming up against is that I’m regularly riding the same routes, so I need to branch out a little so I don’t get too bored. I don’t like the idea of riding the local country lanes just yet, there are too many hills and blind corners – ultimately I don’t have the experience or confidence at the moment, and for the most part I’m still riding after sunset. I do hold out some hope for canal towpaths, which should give me an easy route out to Rugely one way and Penkridge the other, and even beyond. Once the summer arrives and the paths are a little less muddy that should give me no limit other than time on how far I want to ride.

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5 thoughts on “1000 miles: The first month

  1. Keep on going! You’ve made a great start. I think the suggestion from bgddyjim above to look for padded gloves is a good one. Do your bars give you enough possibilities to change your hand position?

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    • I’ll get there, and I do ride on roads fairly often, but the one particular country lane I have in mind is narrow, twisty, often blind and has a 60mph speed limit. I’ll have to work my way up to it…

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  2. Agreed on the padded gloves – will make all the difference. And learning to wrap your own bar tape is a very satisfying experience, so don’t be too shy to ditch the original stuff. Could even go for some gel padding under the tape for super comfort. I have some wrist problems when I’m using my Brompton all the time because of limited options with the straight bars – never have the same issues on my tourer with a range of grip options.
    I cycle quiet country roads a lot, and understand your concerns re blind corners, speed, etc. Best thing is to just stick yourself right out in the middle of your lane, make sure you are well visible. Control the road! Don’t hug the hedges.

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