After many years of cycling, most of them on a BMX, I decided to get some miles in on a road bike. A colleague spurred me on, he was commuting with a 12 mile ride each way. Sometime his commute would be extended and would ride the full 43 miles or so in to work.
I had ridden a road bike in my late teens, riding 50+ miles on a Sunday with a group of road racing enthusiasts. This is where I learnt to suffer on a bike, but I never really put it to use. When I moved from the area I did’t carry on riding road bikes, or any bike for that matter. I managed to get a few skinny years in before the lard came to stay.
I was impressed that the friend (G) was consistently putting in 100+ miles a week. I was left wondering if I could to the same. I thought that I could save some money on the gym membership that I was going to and use the commute as my exercise plan. Rather than start riding a few days a week, I foolishly started riding every day. The 20 mile a day new routine was a tall order, my legs were in a lot of pain for 3 weeks until my body recovered enough for the rides not be stiffen my legs. I started commuting by bike/train in April 2008 weighing in at 96 Kilos with a height of 170cm. This month proved to be a bit of a shocker, temperatures dropped to almost freezing. The only cycle wear I had was a 19 year old pair of Sidi shoes that I used in my late teens, a short sleeved top, a pair of almost thread bare cycling shorts, and a pair of fingerless cycling gloves. I don’t suffer much from the cold, I seem to be able tolerate it well, but the unseasonably low temperatures added to my physical suffering.
The first month I proved to myself that my fitness was pretty poor, the good part about this was my fitness was rapidly improving. The commuting gave a solid base level of training for further things to come.