A couple of weeks ago, blogger friend Denyse made a comment on my blog that “she sensed a longing in me, for what was”. Well, Denyse is very perceptive. The longing in me lately has been to turn back the clock to when I was superfit and could do anything I put my mind to, and more. Denyse’s comment made me stop and think, making me face the fact that I am now a few years older than I was back then, and I’m definitely no longer super fit but considering my age, I’m still fit. Fit enough to enjoy a life of fitness in retirement. With this in mind, I have modified my exercise program, and am happy with how it is progressing, but that’s a story for another time.
However, there has been one gaping hole in my life in recent years, and that is the lack of cycling! I just haven’t been able to commit to regular riding, due to injuries, even though I yearn for it. I had planned to train for the O’Keefe Rail Trail Night Ride which was a few weeks ago, but didn’t do it. Cycling hasn’t been enjoyable for me for about two years, due to knee injuries and my broken arm. Thinking about getting on the bike just brings up thoughts of knee pain and struggles with lack of strength and power in my knees to push uphill. This lack of strength is due to injury, mainly overuse injuries, due to many years of very high impact aerobics. Those times when I’ve ignored worries about my knees and taken the bike out for a ride, have usually finished with me feeling quite devastated, and definitely not motivated to try it again.
Denyse’s comment made me realise that I had to do something to fill the cycling gap, as cycling has always been a huge part of my life. After much thought, I have decided to leave the past behind and start a new phase in cycling. My big news is that last weekend, I decided to buy an ebike. This has been in the back of my mind for a while, as my cousin, who now rides an e-bike, has been encouraging me to go down this path. I’ve been interested but resisting.
Until recent years, I rode a road bike every day, and for distances of sixty km and often more. The thought that I may need an e-bike just didn’t sit right with who I thought I was as a cyclist. Stupidly, I would tell myself, that the day I need to ride an e-bike, is the day I will give up cycling for ever. These have been my thoughts until recently, when I’ve noticed more of my friends riding them and reporting that it’s still possible to have a good workout on an e-bike, as the motor only needs to be used as assistance, on the hills where the rider struggles. For the rest of the time, the bike is ridden as a normal bike. That definitely had me interested,and the more I thought about it the more interested I became, until finally I had a light bulb moment, that, of course, I’m better off to ride an e-bike than not to ride at all. Silly me, of course I am!
With that thought in mind, I popped into a new e-bike store that opened in our area just a few years ago, and was surprised to find that the owner was the person who took care of my road bike, when I was riding regularly, and was able to advise me on exactly the type of bike I needed. I trusted him, and felt happy with his advice, so chose a bike and went home to anxiously wait until after the weekend to collect it and start my next phase in cycling. It’s a long while since I’ve felt so excited about cycling, and once again having it be a large part of my life again. The irony is that I haven’t ridden regularly for a couple of years, but at the same time, the best thing for my knee is cycling. I’ve known that ever since I was younger, and that knowledge kept me on the bike, as I knew that if I gave up riding, I would end up with serious knee problems.
I had planned my first ebike ride for what turned out to be the first day of another covid lockdown. The regulations allowed me to ride only 5km from home which had me a bit disappointed, as I’d been planning a longer ride. I really felt I needed a long ride, to work out how to ride this bike, that is nothing like any bike I’ve ridden before. I wasn’t sure how the electric gears worked, but was hoping that I’d be able to work it out.
I headed out very tentatively on a freezing cold and windy day. The five km limit meant a circuit of laps which is very close to the house, adding up to 20 kms. It turned out to be perfect for my first ride as I was able to test out the gears and electronics on the many hills. By the time I arrived home, all my hesitations were gone, and I was feeling confident. My new ebike, even though vastly different to my road bike, was extremely comfortable and easy to ride.As it turned out most of my worries didn’t eventuate. I was mainly worried that an ebike would be an easy workout. Nothing is further from the truth. My 20k ride burnt up 480 calories which is only a little less that riding the road bike.
I can see myself having many great hours on the rail trails and tracks in our area.
I’m now looking forward to a longer ride on Tuesday, when I have the day off work. Later in the week I have four days off work, so of course, you know where you will find me. I will be on the O’Keefe Rail Trail happily riding my new ebike, and feeling great.
This post is linked to Denyse’s Life This Week
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