It has been a long time since I have really been on a bike. About four weeks after cancer surgery I tried the bike but went one block and had to abandon. The sutures were in the lower abdomen and caused tremendous pain when I was bent over. But one week later I tried it again and went about half a mile.
As I began the long road back I soon realized that biking was one activity that I could do. The sitting was excellent for me and the positioning was comfortable. So I set off to ride on Friday December 19. It was cold -- 28 degrees, and I only went 8 miles but it felt good. But it was cold. I forgot how to dress for cold weather riding.
The next day we were buried under 18" of snow and all outdoor riding was grounded for a while. Conflicts and weather kept me from riding until today.
In a way it was nothing to brag about but today's ride was out of the South Run Rec Center along the Fairfax County Parkway down to Occoquan. Total distance was 27.2 miles. The group was supposed to be at a C pace and was.
Still, save for the one 8-mile jaunt, I have done no riding since November 8. So I settled in just determined to make the distance.
It soon became apparent that I would move to the front and be a leader. And it really became obvious when we left Occoquan. The hill up Rte 123 is probably 8% grade for about half a mile. Maybe longer.
As the group started up the hill I put in a high cadence and flew up the hill. I left the entire group struggling behind. I'm not a great climber -- just determined -- but one must figure if you can be in the middle of the pack at Mount Washington that you can climb okay. Plus, I was probably the youngest in the group.
But the more I rode the stronger I felt. Eventually I was off the front by myself. And it felt good. The 27 miles are a start on the long road back.