Sunday 6 January 2019

First cycling of 2019

First time out this year, I was busy from early on Saturday. Sunday dawned cold but clear. I met Matt at the green as normal.

We headed for the bus stop, the long way. It was great to be out on the bike, and look forward to 2019.

No photo opportunities though. This pic is close to home on the way back. Tennis may be a way to keep fit but if you are like me with no eye-hand coordination cycling is a better bet.

tennis court

Matt will be writing much more than I about the ride, our conversations just don't stick in my head long enough to type them up. Old age is creeping up on me

It's an escape, a way to switch off from what else is going on, keeping fit as well. After, I think, twelve years I can't imagine not cycling at the weekends.

I saw a post of Facebook about a cycle route of over 3600 km or 2200 miles across Europe,10 countries, 6 Rivers. It's called the EuroVelo 6. Matt and I said it would be another item on our list for when we strike it rich. We would need about a month; eighty miles a day would leave plenty of time to take in the sights. And what a sense of achievement. It would have to include Richard and "other" Matt as well. A trip like this is much better if it's a shared experience. Another book for Matt and some great pictures for me.

As we sat drinking tea we looked at our bikes, and questioned their cost. The cyclist passing us got us thinking about this. We estimated the value of the bikes the group rode. Bearing in mind even budget bikes from the big names start at a thousand pounds. the swish of tyres could have been worth close the ten thousand pounds. There were six of them. They had all the gear so it would not be unreasonable to think their steeds were not from the cheaper end of the range. I follow bike websites and they always talk of "cheap" bikes for the winter. But often they are fifteen hundred pounds. If you buy a bike for that much to save your "summer" bike, how much must you have spent on it. We couldn't see how that cost was justified, by the materials used or the labour involved in their manufacture. Matt said is was considered a leisure activity and priced accordingly. I can see the value in buying above the very cheap end of the scale. But not the high end, unless your compete. That's where every ounce counts, but the majority of the cyclists we see can't be pro's in training. 

My mountain bike is second hand and it's had some replacement parts as they have worn out, my road bike is the same. But I don't think it will have been the bikes that prevented me from keeping up with others who have spent more. 

I guess everyone can spend what they want, we are happy with what we have. And they get us where we want to go. 

I got a heart rate monitor for Christmas, today was my first opportunity to try it. Unfortunately it stopped working near the end, but it was still interesting to see how much effort I was putting in. I don't think I'll be buying power meters or anymore tech though. It shows how quickly I start to recover after the hills, which is a good thing I think.

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