Saturday 15 August 2009

The hills are steeper now

When I was a teenager all I wanted to do was ride a bike. I was an enthusiastic but distinctly average under 16 and Junior rider in Dublin, but that didn't matter. So long as I had a clean bike, some cool gear (remember gold Sedis chains!!) and could get out with the lads as often as possible that was me happy. Being the resident authority on the career of Sean Kelly at school was at least some kudos for someone who couldn't kick a ball.

Then college came along, then girls, then travel and then a wife and kids and several stone around the waist. So the bikes got consigned to the Da's attic, except for the bits that mysteriously ended up on his bike! I still rode to work, kept an eye on the results and saw as much of the Tour each year as I could, but that was about it.

Then last year, in my 40th year, I had a minor heart issue out of the blue. Nothing too serious but enough to bring on the start of a mid life crisis! It was time to sort out the kitchen pass, dust off the lycra shorts and join the fat, middle aged men on the roads around the north Co. Dublin coast. Then the Bike to Work scheme brought a nice mid range road bike from Cyclelogical and a Road Warrior was reborn.

Now, it's late summer and I've done one sportive, ridden to the brothers in Kildare (and back) and can cruise 40 miles and still be able to talk to the kids when I get home. Having said that I've also cancelled another sportive when the back went into spasm and had endless tinkering with my new SPD shoes to kill the knee pains but that's just the body reminding me I'm not a junior any more.

Is it just me or is the Nags Head longer and steeper than it used to be?

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