Having discovered last month that I can still cycle after twenty years or so of not trying it, I’m taking a moment to reflect on how I’ve found the experience, and whether I am converted.
First up, let me show my new ride off to you. Here it is, my Apollo Elyse from Halfords. I’m finding it to be perfect for my needs, novice that I am. It’s comfortable, the 18 gears help me getting up the many hills that I have now noticed I’m surrounded by (it’s funny how you don’t really notice them when you’re driving!), and I like its design, too. Handily, it’s lightweight, so moving it around in the shed that I store it in and pushing it up hills (come on, I’m new to this, I can’t get up them all!) comes easily.
Since that first ride that I shared with you, complete with video evidence, I’ve been out on my bike alone a couple of times. I have found that I don’t enjoy being in the traffic, though fortunately once I’m away from my own road there are quieter side roads and parks that I can ride around. Whether this is something that I’ll get used to over time, I’m not sure, I just don’t trust drivers whizzing by me just yet. Aside from that, it’s been pleasant, which is not an adjective I often use for exercise.
Cycling feels more comfortable to me now than running. I can get a lot further without tiring, so whilst I know I am building up stamina whether I run or cycle, it somehow feels more of an achievement to have travelled a few miles than just a few roads in the same amount of time I am out. It’s also a lot easier on knees and ankles, as there’s no impact on them unlike running and various other forms of keeping fit. I can feel it in my legs the following day, so I know that they’re getting toned up.
I think I’m going to be a fair-weather cycler, and more of a tootler than a racer. Never say never, but at this stage I’m finding I’m enjoying going out for the odd half an hour at the weekend rather than pushing myself to get better times or greater distances. I’m really pleased that Halfords invited me to take part in this campaign, so a big thanks to them, as it has allowed me to rediscover cycling and it’s given me a new hobby and way of keeping fit.
So having decided that I’d like to continue getting out and about on my bike, the big question whirring around my head now is should I get a basket for it?! What do you think?
Disclosure: I’m working in collaboration with Halfords on this campaign