I’ve been out of London for 8 days - no tubes, travelling to work, routine or artisan coffee for a week. I’ve also been off the bike and on two feet, creating endorphins through running, yoga and sale shopping instead. Tomorrow I will shimmy enthusiastically back into lycra and spend a few hours in the saddle - a seat I’ve missed massively and one that no Santa’s lap could ever replace.
Any cyclist who has a break from the bike, however large or small, will be familiar with the mixed emotions you toy with when returning to the roads…
There’s a child like thrill.
An excitement for the endorphins.
An appreciation for having such a fantastic hobby.
Nerves knowing that your legs may not be what they used to be (or never were).
Sometimes guilt, if you think you could have been doing more during the time off.
Panic about whether you’ll remember how to not ride into on-coming traffic (it can happen to any of us).
Joy from remembering what the beauty of pedalling will bring.
Fear, knowing that even a few days off is enough to forget the suffering this sport brings.
Confusion thinking about what route and coffee shop will suit the ‘comeback’ best.
Doubt at whether this is the ‘right day’ for said comeback.
Hope at the thought of what you could be on the bike. There’s no time like just before a ride to get you overly hopeful about your potential on the bike and what the future on two wheels may bring.
People may wonder why you’d ever want to put yourself through such this spectrum.
As cyclists, we know that spectrum all too well. From mile one to mile 50 of a ride, you live through such extreme highs and lows that you not only learn to cope with these emotions, but you crave them.
For day one back on the bike (but day 30 of Do More December), we’ll be hitting up Regents Park for morning laps - riding around in circles until our love for pedalling is taken over by our love for post ride coffee.
Congratulations to all those who are on their way to completing #Festive500. Over Christmas I’ve been following the feeds, reading the stories and double tapping the images (though a small red heart on instagram doesn't do the level of Chapeau justice). Enjoy resting your legs on New Years Day and prepare yourself for the beauty of said emotions when getting back on your bike after a well deserved rest.
Here's to the excitement hidden in our fear and the nerves before the thrill.
Without it, life would be 50 shades (miles) duller.