Heh so I may have mentioned I have ADD?
Well, there you go, I got a little distracted, and it’s three weeks since the last update. I can’t even really point to anything I’ve been distracted by, just general common & garden “oooh, shiny!” kinda stuff.
Well other than a couple of migraines I’ve had the last few weeks, those have sucked donkey-balls, but we’re talking say 4 days out of the three weeks, so I’m not sure those count.
Anyway, to get on track, the last time I typed anything up for this I mentioned I’d be going into the exercise part of my life-style change / midlife crisis / whatever this is that I’m going to be waffling on about here so much.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to….. fuck, I don’t know, I haven’t thought to give it a name yet, so feel free to offer suggestions, but whatever, here’s my current exercise plan:
What we have there is a Trek Wahoo 29er, and it’s evidently one of the “cheaper” and “more decent” entry level bikes you can get.
“So why a bicyle?”, you ask. I’ve said before that I’m lazy, and I’ve also got a DVT from hell in my right leg, and half a kilo of metal in my right ankle from a motorbike accident, so running is out even if I didn’t totally loathe running. And I don’t like swimming much at all, though that’s damn good exercise, and otherwise perfect low impact stuff given my leg. So that left me with cycling as an easily accessible, effective, and low impact form of exercise.
The only problem being I’ve not ridden a bike regularly (as in, at all) since I was about 15 or so, so not only am I completely cycling unfit, I didn’t even own a bike, or any of the other paraphernalia you need for cycling these days. So queue several days of me looking at pictures of bikes on websites, and reading about gear ratios, and hydration, and hill climbs and nutrition, and then going “hmmmm” and nodding sagely, like I knew and understood what any of this shit I was looking at actually meant.
And then I bought the cheapest bike I could find that looked like it wouldn’t fall apart as soon as I attempted to sit on it. And this is sadly a more important consideration than I’d like it to be, but I guess that’s the whole point behind this little endeavour of mine.
But that doesn’t actually mean it was cheap. And it’s not just the bike. Oh no, there’s a LOT more to it than just the bike, and none of this shit is cheap. Well, other than the water bottle, that was cheap But otherwise? Oy gevaldt….. By the time I left the shop with the bike, the rack for the car, some shorts, a helmet, and a few other bits and pieces, the credit card had a R9 000 hole in it. That’s around $800 for any international readers who may get lost & end up here by accident, and actually stick around to read it for whatever reason Hi there, by the way, make yourself comfortable.
But I digress, Again. As usual. So back to the topic, and yeah, I hope like hell I stick with this & get my monies worth out of it, or that’s a lot of money pissed away to no good effect, though that in itself should serve as at least some motivation to actually ride the damn thing. But as much as I’m complaining about how much I spent, while it’s certainly not pocket change, it really is on the cheap end of the scale, & I have to tip a nod to Solomons in Lynwood for the fairly healthy discount they gave me.
But so far, so good, & I’ve gone for a few rides so far. Nothing too ambitious, just a few km, sticking to tarmac for now (probably for a loooooong time), and just pushing up the distance a bit each time. I’m lucky in that I’m in the military, as we have two PT sessions each week, where we get to leave the office from 1500 to 1600 to do sport or PT of our choice, so I’ve been going for a ride then. The first time I managed 4km (yeah, I know, I’m seriously unfit, shuddup), and had to stop halfway to get off, and wobble around on unsteady legs, and gasp for breath, and generally feel sorry for myself for a few minutes before I could turn around & head back to the unit.
The next time I pushed it to 7km, only stopped for a brief rest once on the way, and felt a whole lot better and more comfortable about the ride than I had the first time, and today I did a little over 8km, fairly quickly (for me at this point), and had only one brief break to give the legs a minute or two to recover.
So like I say, so far so good. I’m in that really awesome state of fitness right now, where ANYTHING I do leads to immediate and noticeable improvement in my fitness, and I’ll make some dramatic progress over the next few weeks, which is something to look forward to.
But it won’t last, I know that. It won’t take long before I hit a plateaux, and have the long slog of diminishing returns on effort invested to look forward to. And that’s where keeping the motivation to actually get on the bike and ride is going to get tricky. That’s where the next part of the plan comes in, and that’s joining a cycling club, so that Im surrounded by other people on bicycles who’ll offer encoragement and advice, and who look just as dumb in lycra as I do, so that I don’t feel quite so foolish.
I swear, my current cycling bib / shorts things make me look like fucking Obelix, or a dodgy luchador, or some such. Soooo not flattering at all.
(I sadly don’t look so much like the above…)
(…as something a little more like this )
But it’s all for a good purpose I guess, and I wear a t-shirt & shorts over the top of them to keep old ladies from coronaries in the street, and so that small dogs & little children don’t run away yelping at my passage.
To get back to joining a club though, again a very nice thing about being in the military is that one of our service benifits is how we’re encouraged to participate in sport activities, with dispensation granted to participate in organised sport every Wednesday from 1200, so as soon as I can get hold of the contact person for the military cycling club, I’ll get the paperwork filled in to join the club. If they ever, you know, answer their bloody phone. It’s no drama if I don’t join the military club though I guess, as there’s plenty cycling clubs in Pretoria (there are 2 within 5km of where I live for example), so I can join one of those easily enough, even if it means I don’t get to ride a bike for 4 hours of the working day :p
And you never know, I’m perhaps a little more likely to run into a few people who look like this…
…at the civilian cycling club than the military one 🙂
Anyway, I’m sure that’s as much about the bicyle & so on as you’d care to read for now, so I’ll be ending off here to go make supper. Up next, hopefully in the not too distant future, I’ll be back to waffle a bit about a somewhat more established hobby of mine, and another reason I’ve started this up again, and that’s taking photographs. I recently splashed out & bought myself a nice new midrange DSLR, but I’m not even turning it on these days, never mind not taking the photos I’d like to be taking, so I’ll be using this blog as a way to give me a bit of a kick in the pants in terms of taking photos again.
But that’s for going into in a bit more depth in the future, so cheers for now 😉