With 3 months off the bike I had lost all my fitness and piled on the weight. As the weather was pretty wet and the ground sodden, I joined the road cyclists in Redhill Cycling Club to regain some level of fitness. Gradually increasing my ability, I progressed from their Beginner to Intermediate group. Joining a gym for the first time ever, I take up their spinning and Pilates classes. My core muscles are pants where previously I'd only ever worked on my legs. Two Pilates sessions a week slowly enhanced my stomach improving my overall body control.
Following a week snowboarding, which was fantastic, I pick up a sinus infection curtailing my training for a month. This was quite a set back as I needed to improve my fitness for the events in the summer.
Picking myself up, I enter the Muc-Off 8 as a pair with friend Keith using this as a target for my training. The 8 mile course was really muddy and hilly providing little respite for recovery during each lap. Together we manage 8 laps achieving 4th Place out of 21. Not a bad position.
At the end of April I jumped at an opportunity to take a bike skills course. Having never previously received any formal bike training, this was a new concept for me. Wow! There's so much for me to learn and what I did learn made such a difference. I now have so much more confidence in going down hill fast and doing a manual is easy.
In May I tackle my first long ride for many months, 9 months in fact, where I do the Trial Break 100k on the South Downs. Using my newly acquired bike skills I do reasonably well whilst learning some valuable lessons.
The next couple of weeks sees me on my home territory of the North Downs where I ride the training loops I devised last year in preparation for the South Downs Double. Completing a 40 and a 50 mile rides, both in personal best times, I know my fitness is improving.