Sunday, December 25, 2011

Festive 500 - day 3

Day 3 – Straight roads and no views makes made this a dull ride

The line above quite much says it all. Found some tarmac, some slush and some parts with really rough ice. The roads… well, actually quite boring and no scenic views what so ever. Nope, today was more of a work that had to be done. I ended up with 55K in 2:13. 169K in total now.

A part of the really bad road today
Let me tell you another story instead:
1 year and 9 months ago I bought my first road bike. It was a Merida Road Race 903; aluminum frame and Tiagra components. Quite cheap, but really suitable for a total beginner like myself. The reason for this purchase was that I had registered for the Swedish bicycle ride Vätternrundan, and I needed a bike. The registration was a mostly a spur of the moment after finishing another classic Swedish race (in great pain) – Vasaloppet. I had never trained on a bike before (apart from some occasional spinning classes) and had no idea of what I had gotten myself into.

My first training ride ended after 20 minutes, with a flat tire and a heavy rain. My second training ride ended after 15 minutes with a broken front derailleur. I had also bought a commuter bike (a hybrid - rookie mistake). On my first ride home from work, a drunken guy got irritated because of my front light, shoved me and tore my light off. Om my second ride a car decided to cross the bicycle lane right in front of me, forcing me to break hard and going over-the-bar – ninja-style. However, since my ninja education wasn’t complete the whole thing ended with some torn ligaments in my left hand, forcing surgery some months later (and 8 weeks without training).

I guess my cycling career could have ended then and there. I guess few people would mind if I just threw the bikes away with a start like that? But I didn’t. Confident in that I really was on to something I kept on going and it totally changed my life. Now it’s 1 year and 9 months later. This year I have logged over 11000km on tarmac, gravel, trails, snow and ice. I have lost a lot of weight and I’m fitter than ever. Thanks to a strange contraption with two wheels and a frame. Some of these days I might even go on and call myself a rider.

The sun is coming up
The long and... straight road?
Snowfilled farmland
Christmas day lunch for champions!

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