So, as I think I’ve said, April through to July has been pretty darned busy. I made my way on to several rotas at church, had a busy time at work several weekends away and a week-long holiday. Finally some more “free” time is here – hence the recent blog activity.
I wanted to take a quick look back at the last few months’ cycling. There are some thoughts that I’ve not had a chance to jot down.
In March, which was a relatively quiet month, I set myself the target of cycling 300 miles. I’m sure some of you think that’s not very much, just 10 miles a day when I’m already commuting 7 anyway. My previous monthy max was around 250 miles, so it should only have taken a little extra work to get an extra 50 in.
And yet, it was strangely difficult. I did just about achieve it by doing extended commutes and developing some ‘urban loops’ which allowed me to clock up extra miles on well-lit roads during the dark nights. But I was hindered by needing to carry extra luggage to and from work a couple of times, requiring me to drive.
I got a lot fitter and really enjoyed the challenge, but doing it with the shorter days was tough.
The aim was to develop some good routines of doing longer rides and getting out at lunchtime too, but the summer has so far been too busy to keep those routines up. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I did an extended ride.
I only ride for fun and fitness, but my hope was to put some much bigger rides in when the days got longer. I’ve no idea how my fitness is now, but hopefully I’ll get to test myself next week. But that really depends on…
…whose fitness is also in question. For those wondering, Fuzzy is the name given to my Felt Z90 road bike, and, truth be told, he’s been a bit neglected of late.
He got some new bar tape and brake pads, both rather needed, and which I was quite chuffed to fit myself. But he’s in desperate need of a clean and there’s some odd rattling/clanking noises – one of which turned out to be the saddle being slightly loose, and the other seems to be emanating from the rear wheel. Bearings maybe?
It’s odd, I know I’ve heard that specific clanking before, and I know it turned out to be something really simple, so either it IS something really simple and I’ve forgotten what, or it’s a differnt clanking to what I remember. Either way, he needs a good clean, then a trip to the bike shop…which I’ve not gotten around to.
Fuzzy also had a first birthday which has, so far, been unrecorded. Next year I will try to find a more appropriate celebration, but for this year I’ll just record that he’s been a brilliant machine, survived all weathers, clocked nearly 2000 miles (well over that now of course!), and been not just my speedy training wheels, but my commuting workhorse too.
Not Another Bike?
Fuzzy’s first meant that I’d paid off my 12-months of CycleScheme hire and this month I became eligible to enroll again. But, oddly, I find myself not needing another bike…and not very much wanting one.
I’d considered getting a decent audax/touring bike, something between Fuzzy’s sportiness and the more practical hybrid that I own but no longer ride, but I’m just not excited about it. I considered for a while that I was actually delusional, but I think I’m just content with what I have at the moment – it serves my needs. Maybe next time.
I mentioned a while ago about getting involved in some cycle campaigning, fighting for cyclists rights, ensuring cycle infrastructure is maintained and growing, and encouraging others give cycling a try. I have contacted my local CTC cycle champion, but we’ve yet to actually both have time to meet, in the meantime various other things are happening as I’m getting involved with some travel plans and a local community project where sustainability is important.
I’m also trying to plug together various parties from across the tangled web of people that we’ve been getting to know. There will be some interesting changes in our lives this summer and part of that will probably mean that the focus of our busy-ness changes and we start picking up some of these contacts and working with them in various ways.
In the meantime, I must get Fuzzy sorted out, take my own advice and start enjoying cycling again, and get my monthly milage up! Autumn already looms. Let’s make the best of the summer weeks we have left.