Tag Archives: Bike

To my bike…

Just wanted to say thanks.

Thanks for being there when I was angry, upset or just plain peopled-out. You have always been a safe haven for me, a way for me to get out my aggression and frustration that’s healthy and much much better than taking it out on those I care about.

Thanks for the time to think, the time to be alone, the time to remind myself that I don’t have to be what everyone expects or perceives me to be.

Thanks for being a safety valve, a place to go when everything is getting to be too much and I can feel my emotions bubbling over and going to places I don’t want to go. Thanks for being something that I look forward to, a bright spark when all looked pretty dark around me.

But best of all, thanks for the joy and the pleasure that you bring into my life. I can be in the foulest mood but I know that time spent on my bike will fix all that. It’s so good to be able to reconnect with a younger, less troubled version of myself.

Thanks for the time spent out in the sunshine. And, to a lesser degree, in the rain. Thanks for reminding me that I happen to live in a pretty amazing country and that there is much to appreciate.

Sometimes the riding hurts so much but that’s more than made up by the times it comes so easy and I feel like I’m flying. It’s worth it – the tired heavy legs, the sore butt, aching back – it’s so worth it.

So much for me being all zen about my accident

Time to admit it.

I am really angry about it. As in really, really fucking angry.

Sigh.

I guess it all came to head for me when we went up to Bright for our annual cycling-eating-drinking extended long weekend with a big group of friends and I had to sit by and watch everyone else having a grand old time conquering mountains and spending serious time on the bike.

Me? I barely managed a 40km ride. I had to be pushed up a small rise that was maybe 250m long because I couldn’t get up it on my own. (Don’t get me wrong – I am eternally grateful for that push because otherwise I would’ve had to have gotten off and walked.) Yes, it was awesome being on my bike again but the next day I regretted it. My arm was so painful and it took a few days for me to recover. I don’t believe it set back my overall recovery but it was just so frustrating. I really felt like I should’ve been doing so much more and I couldn’t. All because some stupid woman ran a red light and hit me.

Okay, yes I’m pregnant so there’s no way I was going to be riding up even the smallest mountain. I knew that, accepted it but I had been looking forward to doing what I was capable of – which would’ve been a lot of flat(ish) rides. I should’ve been able to do so much more than a pissy 40km.

I know I should be grateful. My injury really isn’t that serious. When you think about what could’ve happened, I really did get off lightly. I could’ve fracture my pelvis, suffered a serious head injury, internal bleeding or I could’ve miscarried but all I did was break my arm. I should be grateful but I’m not. I feel like I’ve lost so much.

Those weeks should’ve been about me whinging about morning sickness and getting some sympathy for that. I should’ve excited about being pregnant. It should’ve been about me doing what I needed to do to stay fit and still riding my bike. But no, I spent weeks lying in bed because I couldn’t do anything else. I’d wake up in pain and go to sleep in pain. It took weeks for it to get to a tolerable level so I could try to get my life back on track.

I wanted to do what I could to stay fit in the hope that it’d help me have a reasonable birth experience and a faster recovery. I know the shortness of breath I experience these days is because my diaphragm is being squashed but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! I can’t help but think if my accident hadn’t happened, stuff like this would be a bit easier

I was initially quite zen about the whole thing but I realise now that I am really angry about it. I’m angry about being in pain so much of time. I’m irritated about the fact that when I wake up in the morning I have to be careful about how I stretch because if I do it wrong, it’s a whole world of pain. I’m angry that my rehab will take so long and that even when it’s done and I’ve “recovered”, I still won’t have full functionality. My arm is never going to be 100% ever again.

I’m just generally pissed about the whole thing.

It really feels like the last three months have been so chaotic. Nothing has been normal. My calendar is full of medical appointments and little else (okay, the baby-related appointments are pretty exciting and make for a nice change). While I am making progress – I’ve gone from being able to not lift my arm at all to to about 130 degrees in front of me – it feels like it’s taking forever and it’s hard to not get frustrated by how slow progress is. I can’t really reach backwards at all and I’m still restricted in how high I can lift my arm to the side. It’s a slow, painful process.

As petulant as this will sound, I always end up thinking that this shouldn’t have happened to me and that is just so unfair (see, petulant – next I’ll be stamping my foot). I guess the problem is that before I didn’t really have time to be angry. I was so focused on dealing with the pain I didn’t have room in my head for anything else. Now I do have time and I’ve pretty much lost my zen attitude. I want for it to be done. I’m so over it and that makes me angry.

Fun times. Or not.

Sooooo… on 17 September I got hit by a car while riding to work. Suffice to say fun times have not been the order of the day since.

I have a spiral fracture in my left humerus (which oddly enough isn’t funny at all). This is where the bone breaks up/down instead of across. They’re known for being extremely painful. I’m still sporting a huge bruise on my arm and there’s a lump which hasn’t gone away after four weeks. I also took a whole lot of skin off my left knee. I have three superb scars now but the bulk of it seems to have been something closer to a friction burn. My knee got insanely itchy after a few days and then the skin started to peel off. It’s still itchy now.

I spent four days in hospital because the pain was so bad I was being given morphine and some other heavy-duty opiate that they don’t seem to want to hand out scripts for.

From what I’ve been told, my broken arm is a bit unusual. It takes a considerable amount of force for this sort of fracture to occur and it normally happens in old people with osteoporosis. I’ve been left wondering if a clean break straight through the bone would’ve been better. But it is healing. It just feels like it’s taking forever.

It’s so frustrating. I haven’t been to work in a month. All I seem to do these days is sleep, drink loads of milk, read, watch tv shows and movies. I’m useless at anything else. I can barely take care of myself. Going out and doing things exhausts me, although that is getting better.

I feel guilty because I’m totally depended on Richard for pretty much everything. He’s doing everything at the moment while I sit on my arse. My poor work colleague has been on her own for three weeks now and I feel so bad about that. I hate the fact that I can only just dress myself. I can’t shower on my own – rather I can but I can’t dry myself off. I can’t cook anything. I can’t drive so Richard has to take me everywhere. I feel helpless and I hate it.

I’m still angry with the woman who hit me. I know it’s all her fault because she’s the one who ran a red light. But there’s a still a part of me that thinks I messed up. That I should’ve been able to avoid the accident. I’ve been riding long enough now to have developed the right sort of skills. I’m angry at myself for something I know consciously I couldn’t control. She hit me. She was the one who ran the red light. It’s all her fault but I still feel like I could’ve done something more than just plough straight into her like I did.

I remember the impact. I remember sliding across the bonnet. I don’t remember separating from my bike but I guess that because I was too caught up in landing on the road and being introduced to a whole new world of pain. I now have a new reference point for pain. I thought my back injury was the worst pain I had experienced in my life but this beats it. I’ve never passed out from pain – vomited, yes – but I got very floaty when the ambos had to splint my arm so they could get me off the road.

So yeah… my life for the last month has been all about my arm. I have a calendar full of medical appointments. I see my GP every week and discuss how my arm is going and when I should return to work.

Yesterday I finally had an appointment at the hospital with an osteo surgeon. After waiting over an hour to be seen, I spent about 10 minutes with him. He was surprised I hadn’t been seen by anyone since I was discharged from the hospital. I should’ve had at least one appointment and he was puzzled as to why I wasn’t seen by a doctor when I had x-rays done two weeks later. So there could’ve been something seriously wrong with my arm and I would’ve never known because the hospital totally dropped the ball on my out-patient treatment. But luckily it looks like my arm is healing just fine. I have another appointment in two weeks with a doctor and more x-rays which will hopefully show the fracture has healed. Then I can start rehab.

The other thing the doctor told me was that I’m looking at about three months for full recovery. Three months!!

Kinda explains why I’m still so angry with the woman who hit me. She caused the accident but I’m the one paying for it and will be for quite awhile to come.

#Womens100

There was a terrible moment when I realised I was going to be about 3kms short for the Rapha Women’s 100.

I had been so sure when I set out that I would get it. I was so certain I’d gotten it right and that adding a lap of the boulie before meeting up with the other women I would be riding with would give me the extra 20 or so kms I needed. Well, I was wrong! I realised that I’d miscalculated when I was still about 6kms out from home. D’oh!

Riding anywhere near 100kms is a big ask for me at the moment. I’m on the way to restoring my fitness – on and off the bike – but I still have a long, long way to go. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to achieve the 100kms. But I did. I did it. Admittedly I had to ride around my suburb for about 20 minute to get the extra but I did. It seems like such a crazy thing to do but I guess I really am a cyclist because come hell or high water, I was getting that 100kms.

I so often struggle to find motivation. It’s been really hard to get back on the bike but I think I’m falling in love with it again. It’s such a huge part of me and my relationship with my husband. Without my cycling, I would’ve never meet him and I would’ve missed out on what’s turning out to be a pretty awesome adventure with him.

But this day was about my female friends and that’s fantastic too. I have so many wonderful, strong, fun women in my life now because of my bike.

It was a great day. Thanks to Bek, Marta, Louisa and Helen for making it so.

A question of fitness

I kinda had an huh moment a few weeks ago. I was out on a ride with friends. My friend H (one of the many Hs I know!) and I were paired up and both of us whinging out how unfit we are.

Which seems kinda weird when we’d just ridden 50kms.

Yup, we’d just knocked over a 50km ride at a not too shabby pace and we were both whinging out how unfit we were. That’s weird. But I’m guessing that there are plenty of people our age would struggle to ride 10kms, let alone 50. Hell, there are plenty of people out there who’d be out of breath after a short stroll.

I guess it’s a case of what “fit” means to the individual. My definition of fitness is probably quite different from the average person’s.

For me being fit means that I can smash out 28 minute boulie laps a couple of times a week. Right now I’m struggle to get under 31 minutes – which means I’ve slowed down a lot. (However, I must say that boulie lap times are hugely influenced by strength as well as fitness. I feel very weak on the bike at the moment.) That says to me that I’m unfit and I need to work a good deal harder if I want to returning to my former ways.

Returning to the gym seemed like such a good idea but I seem to be suffering from perpetually heavy legs. Getting on the bike is really hard work. It feels like it’s taking a huge amount of effort to get going. I’m pretty much okay once I’m rolling but ack… the effort to get there kinda sucks. On the flip side, it is nice to feel some muscle firmness in my shoulders and chest. The rest of me might suck but at least that bit is sorting itself out.

Anyhoo… fitness. How you define it. What it actually means to a person.

Uh… yeah.

The cobbles broke me

I’ll say from the onset that doing the Melburn Roobiax ride wasn’t my idea. I don’t like riding over cobbles at the best of times but I got signed up for it so I went along with it. And hey, the time I’ve been as an observer, it has looked like a lot of fun.

I was a little apprehensive as the day drew closer but I decided that I should just go with it and have some fun. Really, how bad could it be?

Uh… bad. Really, really bad.

I managed to get about 100 metres into the first section before I panicked. I was going too slow and the cobbles were really, really slippery after three days of heavy rain. There were people all around me and I could hear so many unfamiliar voices saying “wow, it’s so slippery”, “it’s a bit muddy!” etc. I totally freaked out. I managed to get my foot down but it promptly slipped out from underneath me. Then I cracked myself in the left shin with my pedal as I struggled to maintain my balance. Got my other foot out and somehow managed to whack my right shin with my pedal so hard that it broke skin. I have no clue how I did this. Of course I was in a bit of a state by now, verging on what felt like a full-blown panic attack. I stood there for about 10 minutes with people careering past me, adding to my fear.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t go back and the idea of riding out of the lane filled me with a terror that had me frozen to the spot. So I did the only thing I could. I got off my bike and walked to the end. On insanely slippery cobbles. In cletes. How I didn’t fall over I have no idea.

The second section was worse. Again, I was way too slow and I simply didn’t trust myself or my bike on the cobbles. I panicked and stopped as soon as I could. It was awful. I haven’t felt that way since the first ride back from my fall last year.

And that’s the thing isn’t it? What did I fall over on last year? A bluestone gutter. I really thought I’d gotten over the whole bike accident thing. I’ve been happily riding on the road for months. Hell, I’ve ridden up a mountain! (Okay, so on occasion I get a bit skittish in large crowds and I don’t like when I feel that other cyclists are getting too close to me but I think that’s normal!) What happened Sunday was totally unexpected and I think that’s what made it so scary. I didn’t even think of that there would be a subconscious connection between my accident and the cobbles on the Roobaix ride. But wow, my brain made it pretty damn quickly.

I feel kinda dumb. I mean, there were kids doing it. Not to mention people on old bangers of bikes that must’ve been absolute agony to ride over the cobbles. But me, in my expensive Rapha kit and road bike? Nope, I freaked out on the first section. Still, I should remember that I did hurt myself well beyond the normal “jump-up-and-laugh-it-off” injury. I hit the ground so hard that I cracked my helmet.

After two sections, I gave up. If I persisted with the cobbles, I knew I’d be in for a terrible day on the bike. It was obvious I wasn’t going to be able to get past my fear and if I kept trying, I’d end up hurting myself and probably the people around me. It was just easier to skip the cobble sections and simply ride around them and meet my other half, who was doing them, at the end. I did manage to complete one section though so I’m rather proud of that as it was considered one of the more difficult bits (had three stars).

But there’s no getting away from it – the cobbles broke me.

At it again!

Yup, this could be titled dumb things I have done – part two. Doing things that I shouldn’t be doing because I can’t hack it physically.

This time it was the Scody High Country Challenge. Signed up for it ages ago and was feeling pretty positive about it all. The challenge of Mt Buller seemed appropriate after conquering both Mt Buffalo and Mt Donna Buang. But then it happened.

Six weeks ago, I dislocated my right thumb.

This meant two weeks with no bike riding at all. I couldn’t even tie my own shoe laces, let alone get on a bike. It was over two weeks before I started riding again. But I could only do short distances before the pain in my hand got too bad – damn bumpy road surfaces! I knew there was no way I’d be anywhere near prepared enough for the weekend. But I did it anyway, with about 10 hours proper riding time. My longest ride was an 80km pootle around the Bellarine Peninsula the weekend before. (I do ride to work but that doesn’t really count when it’s only 10kms in the morning and 10kms in the evening.)

Not prepared at all!

Still, I lined up with everyone else on what was a very foggy Saturday morning, wondering if the new battery in my garmin’s speed/cadence sensor would stop the auto-pausing problem I’d been having (answer: yes and no – no because it still happened but yes because it didn’t get stuck paused like it had been). And then it began. We left Mansfield behind and made our way to the base of Mt Buller. At first it was okay. Actually, it was okay for about the first ten kms of the climb. I definitely wasn’t going to set any records for a blistering time but I was still turning the cranks over and I didn’t feeling like I was pedaling squares.

Then the nausea began. My stomach was churning and it got worse the further up the climb I got. In the last four or five kms of the climb, I stopped four times. At one point, I simply stopped. My heart was hammering in my chest and I just couldn’t turn the cranks over any more. I had to stop, I just had to. I forced down a bit of an Clif bar and contemplated the fact that I wasn’t even at the hard bit yet. That moment was a tiny bit soul destroying and I contemplated just turning my bike upside down and waiting for the sag wagon. Yet I didn’t. I clipped back in and suffered my way to the top. And my, did I suffer. My partner stayed with me for the final two kms and as we came around the very last corner, he heard a very little voice behind him squeak “Is that it?” in sheer desperation that it be the truth.

I got the blue “You are here!” sign and promptly got off my bike, fighting the desire to puke up my guts up all over the sign that two seconds ago had been a blessed thing to see. I walked for a bit but hopped back on my bike so I could ride across the finish line. Couldn’t be seen walking across the line!! Then we sat in the town square on top of Mt Buller in glorious sunshine as I chugged down a can of coke (rides are the only time I’ll drink it) and burped my head off. Slowly I started to feel better, my stomach unknotted and I relaxed. I acknowledged that fact that I was totally underdone for the climb. I had no clue just how hard it would be and my lack of knowledge of the climb made it even more difficult because I had no clue how far it was to go.

But I am proud of myself for not packing it in. I might’ve been in last group of people who completed the ascent but I bloody well did it!! I wanted to quit, I thought I should but I didn’t.

The descent was quite fun. I really didn’t like the first bit which is incredibly steep with a hair-pin turn. I was working the brakes the whole way down that bit, probably holding some people up but I didn’t care. I’d already seen what could happen if you crashed and I had no desire to put myself in hospital (one guy did – last I heard he has broken ribs and he cracked a vertebra). It was a much quicker trip back to Mansfield than it was going out. Simple fact is that there’s a lot more down than up on the way back!

Unlike when I climbed Mt Buffalo (with a cold no less!), I had a real feeling of achievement when I crossed the finish line in Mansfield. I had suffered but I had prevailed. I conquered Mt Buller on my first go.

Sunday was meant to be the 125km ride to Whitfield but my dislocated thumb put paid to that idea. It would be a 55km jaunt to Tolmie instead (the first water station and turnaround point). And my, what a tricksy little ride that turned out to be! What I didn’t know at the time was that you essentially start climbing as soon as you get out of Mansfield. Sure, it’s nowhere near as steep but it’s just as long as riding up Mt Buffalo! The “Welcome to Tolmie” sign appeared about 2.5kms before the damn water station!! It seemed to go on forever!

As we stood around the water station, I was eternally grateful that we would be turning around and heading back to Mansfield. And it was one of the funnest descents I’ve done it quite awhile. No real need to brake at all, just lots of big sweepers for corners and the feeling that you’re really in control because it’s not that steep. It was a lot of fun.

Will I do it again next year? Yes. I know it sounds like I had a terrible time but I really didn’t. I got to spend a long weekend in a gorgeous part of Victoria with my partner, doing what we love doing – which is riding our bikes.

But next year, I intend on being waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better prepared.

In other news, I’m heading off overseas next week for a grand jaunt. It goes something like this:

Depart Melbourne 12pm 27 March > arrive LAX 8:30am 27 March (love that whole arriving before you left thing) > Santa Monica 27 – 29 March > fly to Seattle 29 March > Seattle 29 March – 2 April > fly to New York (yay!!!) 2 April > New York 2 – 5 April > fly to Paris 5 April (very late at night too) > Paris from 6 – 12 April > fly to Hong Kong 12 April > Hong Kong 13 – 15 April > fly home to Melbourne 15 April. Arrive home 6am (!!) 16 April.

What’s missing for that is a day being bussed around for this year’s Paris-Roubaix. I think there are three stops along the way and then the tour company we’re going with will take us to the Roubaix Velodrome for the finish. It’s going to be very exciting.

Paris! I’m going to Paris! Mmmm… macaroons.

Dumb things I have done

It started out okay. We (the other half and I) had followed the forecast as the Bureau of Meteorology kept adjusting it. Jan 2 2012 – the day of Amy’s Ride – was going to be hot. 41°C (105.8°F) to be exact. The ride organisers elected to invoke a heat contingency plan which meant we got bumped from the 120km (75mi) ride to the 70km (43.5mi) ride.

At first it was okay. It was warm for that early in day but I figured we’d finish the ride before it got really hot. Uh huh… bit of wishing thinking there! I was okay until the road surface hit 45°C (113°F) about two and half hours into the ride. (Yes, we should’ve been quicker but common sense dictated we take it easier.) I felt like I was slowly being cooked. I couldn’t drink the water in my bottle because it was too hot and even a small sip made to spit it right back out. I suffered. I suffered like I haven’t in a long, long time.

It became very apparent to me as I slowly rolled into the Botanic Garden in Geelong that I wasn’t in the best shape. I felt very shaky and bit disorientated. My other half was sneaking further and further away from me as I came to the end of my endurance. But I couldn’t sing out to get him wait because I simply didn’t have the energy to do so. When we did come back together he suggested we head straight back to the car (which we’d just rolled past) but with about 500 metres to go the exact words out of my mouth were “I’m f#$king finishing it!!!”

I have no idea how I made it to the end. It was blessed relief when I could finally unclip and put my foot down on the ground and simply know I didn’t have to get back on the bike. Getting off the bike proved to be a little more tricky because I wasn’t certain I had the strength to swing my leg over. I wobbled my way over to the covered BBQ area and sat myself down on the only seat available which just happened to be in front of the organisers. I think a few of them might have had their eye on me in case I keeled over. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt that weak and distressed.

At first there was no satisfaction in what I’d just done. It felt like one of the stupidest things I’d ever attempted and I have to admit it was pretty dumb to continue when the road temperature got to the point where I felt like I was being cooked. I was obviously starting to suffer from heat exhaustion and probably should’ve quit. But not me! No, I’m too stubborn and bloody minded to do that. No sag wagon ever for this little black duck. All I can think now is: moron! whilst still feeling a sense of achievement for completing the ride.

So yes, I feel like I’ve already done my really dumb thing for this year and it’s still only January.

Of course, three days later I rode up Mt Donna Buang. I am a glutton for punishment. I have no idea how I got talked into it but I must admit I enjoyed this ride far more than Amy’s Ride. At least it had one of the best descents I’ve ever experienced. Took me over an hour and a half to get up and under 25 minutes to get down. I have to say I’d do it again just so I could experience that descent again. I slogged my guts out to get up the damn mountain but you couldn’t get the smile off my face on the way down – except maybe for the really steep bit (locals will know it as the bit around Cement Creek) as that was a bit scary and had me grabbing the brakes. I couldn’t feel my toes by the time I got to the bottom in but it was totally worth it.

The next challenge is the SCODY High Country Cycle Challenge in March. Mt Bulla anyone? For someone who’s never liked climbing, I certainly seem to be doing a lot of it these days.

Should watch this more often

Things are getting better on the bike. I’m feeling great today because I totally smashed it on Yarra Boulevard this morning. Okay, so 1:12:50 is probably really slow for two laps and most guys could do three or even four laps in that time but it’s a PB (personal best) for me and I’m feeling pretty good about my efforts this morning.

Funny how putting a new saddle – black Fi’zi:k Vesta with K:ium rails – on and getting some spiffy new shorts from Rapha has led to an improvement in my attitude.

Mt Buffalo – conquered!

Took me two hours to get to the climb’s end but I did it. I’ve officially climbed my first proper mountain and I have the ride stats to prove it.

It’s long – really, really, really freaken long. My brother described it thusly when we talked about it a few days later: it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on – fark! I’m only half way!! – and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. Just when you think it’s never going to end, there’s a small descent and the scenery opens out into the most amazing plateau. It’s a meadow at the top of a mountain. Grass, flowers, the whole bit. There’s a tiny little bit more climbing to do after that to reach the chateau that signifies the end of the climb.

The crazy thing is that I did it with a cold. Probably not the most sensible thing I’ve done recently but I had company. Louisa and I ended up nattering most of the way up as evidenced by this photo:

We took our time, stopping quite a few times in the shade to cool down and have a drink. It’s not like were were in a hurry or anything. We also snapped a few photos. I think this one is from about two-thirds of the way up.

But make it to the top we did. There were cheers from the group we were riding with when we arrived. And of course I took a photo of my bike at the look-out just to prove I’d been there.

Am I smiling? Or is it a grimace? (At least I look spiffy in my pink Rapha jersey. And yes, it matches my handle bar tape.)

However, something strange happened on the way down. For the first time ever on a descent I actually got a little bored. 21kms is a long, long way to descend on an unfamiliar road with a dead surface. Plus because I had a cold, my ears were blocked and I couldn’t get them clear on the way down which affected my sense of balance. I had to go more slowly then I probably would’ve a few months ago. By the time I got to the bottom, I was in a bit of pain and I had to stop to blow my nose in attempt to make my ears pop.

There was a cruel torment on the way back into Bright when the sign on the side of road promised it was only six kilometres away. Longest six kilometres of my life! When I finally staggered into the guest house the riding group I was with had taken over for the weekend, I was a shattered woman. Exhausted, drenched in sweat and feeling like death. I thought I’d feel some sort of achievement for successfully traversing my first proper mountain climb but mostly I just wanted to lie down and never get up. The sense of achievement came three days later when we were returning to Melbourne and I realised the mountain I could see to my left was Mt Buffalo. Then I truly realised what I’d done.

See that mountain in the distance? I rode up that, all 1,302m (4,272 ft) of it!

There were a few more rides on the weekend – rail trail tootle to from Bright to Myrtleford for breakfast and then back to Bright and a quick Bright – Harrietville – Bright trip but mostly this weekend was about Mt Buffalo for me and the realisation that right now I’m just not in love with cycling like I once was.

The realisation came as we were heading back from Myrtleford to Bright and were going to stop at a pub on the way. We had to ride across some grass and lucky me, my bike slipped out from under me and I fell. At least time it was on grass and the only damage was to my dignity. But sitting in the shade after everyone else had ridden on – at my request – with my partner, I realised I’m having a bit of a tough time with the whole bike riding thing at the moment.

It’s hard to get out on the bike. It doesn’t feel as natural to me as it once did. I still get edgy in large groups and I’m not comfortable being surrounded by riders I don’t know. I’m nervous and overly cautious. I’m not comfortable on the bike since I switched saddles to a narrower and less padded one with a massive cut-out. I thought it was because I got the seat height wrong but even after adjusting it, I’m still not comfortable. So a new saddle is on its way to me now. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. Don’t know.

Does the fact that I’m still trying count for something? I’m not willing to give up on it. Cycling and I are having a bit of a lovers’ tiff at the moment but maybe everything will be fixed with a new saddle and a few good rides.