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Back on the roadie

Boardwalk days by andrewgillsag
Boardwalk days, a photo by andrewgillsag on Flickr.

It’s been months since I last really properly went for a road ride. In fact, I just checked back through my blog and I haven’t been on a proper road ride since 30 August (excepting Thursday’s short ride to drop the bike at the shop). But I am ready again … the faithful little 1996 Trek OCLV 5200 is calling again.

I had a new headset, quill to 1 1/8″ adapter and stem installed at a LBS on Friday, and installed a new set of 31.8mm handlebars myself last night. I also replaced the road clip-ins with some MTB clip-ins on Thursday morning so my muscles had a bit to adapt to while also getting used to being back in this particular saddle. But it didn’t take long for me to find my groove and enjoy the wind through my helmet and the sun on my skin.

I rode down to the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in Wynnum to meet a friend and eat a Goat Pie Man pie (Morrocan goat meat flavour – yummo!). It was 28km to the markets and it was a good opportunity to relax, refuel and make some minor tweaks to the bike before the ride home.

Instead of just riding directly home, I rode through Birkdale along roads I’ve never ridden before. It was relaxing to just cruise along without worrying about speed or destination. Sure, I was heading home, but I certainly took a circuitous route. With 8km to go, I stopped at a different LBS to have my derailleur cables replaced because they’ve been sticking for some time now (certainly for the final 1,500km of Cycling for Hope). I then loaded some fish and vegetables into my bikepacking seat post bag and cruised home. I had a thoroughly enjoyable morning and am looking forward to hitting the road again tomorrow for another 50-70km. It’s a nice distance to cruise without stressing my body too much while still offering about 3 hours out on the road (I only ride at about 23kph).

So now I am sitting in a bath tub of cold water to settle down any niggles that might arise from the ride. The area between my left calf muscle and Achilles tendon is still sensitive (it has been since July) so I am committed to taking steps to help it settle. I did a 9 minute cycling-specific stretching routine before I left home on my bike and will do another more general stretching routine tonight using an app I downloaded this week.

How are you spending your Saturday?

Total: 70.7km road cycle

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