The bike and the buddy

Comfort was a priority in choosing my new bike. Low gears for the local hills tempered with fast and light.  I was quickly drawn to the  Specialized Roubaix Compact road bike – named after the grueling Paris-Roubaix race.

I knew that triathlon was not really going to interest me and neither did road racing. I love going on journeys so the criteria of comfort on long rides was the priority and the Roubaix seemed to meet my needs, at a reasonable price.  Having decided in principle my mind was made up on July 9th 2011 when an extra 20% off was offered during Le Tour and together with last years colour I got a deal I was happy with. 105 pedals and a ladies saddle completed the dream machine.

The man in the shop said it would feel like cheating when I got on a hill as it would be effortless. He was wrong.  There was no difference.  I was so disappointed. The reality was that hill climbing ability was down to me – not the bike.  A note from the diary says I had hoped it would be easy and pain free.  It was not.  I was beginning to wish I had gone for that granny cog.

I was still doing all my cycling alone.  The nearest group to ride with is the CTC in Dorchester and it seemed daft to drive for 15 miles to go for a bike ride  and as my time is my own I could ride whenever I wanted to .  I was usually doing my other sitting down sport on Sundays – kayaking on the sea.

In August 2011 – a few weeks after getting my new bike – an old running friend posted on Facebook that he was doing a 100 mile ride round Dorset.  Wow! I wanted to do that.  Can I come Les?  This was such a big deal for me.  Husband followed us round in the van and carried limitless supplies of isotonic drinks, malt loaf, sandwiches and cake.  Les did comment that he had just planned to go to the pub for lunch but I just couldn’t imagine attempting 100 miles without support. That was my first proper cycling adventure.  105 miles – Not bad.  Quite enjoyed it.

The summer continued – running, swimming, sailing, kayaking and weekly mileage on my bike building. On 15th August 2011 I was out in the Bride Valley only a few miles from home one evening . My GPS was playing up and I had stopped to see if I could sort it out. Unusually – along came another road cyclist – he stopped to check that I was OK .  He was also riding a Specialized Roubaix – what a coincidence.  We set off up the valley together and by the end of the ride  we had covered the important bits of life history and realised we rode at about the same pace.   I had a cycling buddy. Steve.

This entry was posted in Cycling, Dorset and tagged on by .

About Barbara

I am a lifetime endurance athlete and seem to still have the motivation now that I am 61 years of age to get out there and be active and adventurous. I completed a full ironman distance triathlon in 14 hours a couple of months before my 60th birthday and the London Marathon 12 minutes inside the Good For Age time in April 2016. In June 2016 I won my age group at the Exmoor 70.3 Ironman event. Since then I have become less interested in competing and more interested in having fun. Running has become increasingly difficult and not so much fun so I am doing less of that. However, I still ride my bike at least 300 kilometres in a 'normal' week and swim, gym , yoga etc to keep up my fitness and health . Mountain biking became a new feature of my life in 2016 and with that came a new cycling buddy. A wonderful suprise - my husband! This has changed what we do with our time together and in June 2017 we enjoyed a tour of the west coast of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides together. Audax riding is still a regular feature and in June 2017 I completed 4 years of AAARTY.

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