I’ve experienced a lot since posting last, and during these experiences I have also learnt plenty in terms of handling the bike. I have completed two more Sportives with Velo29. Both my experiences have been positive with this organisation and thoroughly enjoyed those experiences. They offer varying degrees of difficulties for each Sportive.
The first one, the Three Swans at the beginning of September is my longest ride at 109km. The reason I chose the medium ride was because of the flat terrain and I thought it would be a good opportunity to push myself while the impetus to keep up with other riders existed:
I noticed that my speed had increased during this ride because it is fairly hilly where I live, I can’t go anywhere without having to climb. The second one was the White Horse Sportive where the landscape is significantly more challenging. Because of this I opted to complete the short route:
Throughout this time I was becoming more confident in descending and further learning how to lean the bike to maintain more of a connection between the wheels and the tarmac, creating more friction. Although I’m not the fastest person it was nevertheless still exhilarating and something I look forward to when I’m climb. There has been a massive shift since starting back in April, I remember feeling terrified and not looking forward to the descent. I remember the feeling as though I was going to topple over the handlebars and I never gripped handle bars that tightly before. On reflection, compared with the relaxed and more comfortable way in which I handle the bike, during the early stages it felt like I was on a roller coaster ride holding on for dear life.
Like anything it takes time to understand and get to know the bike that you have purchased. I didn’t consider this when I first started cycling and thought that I could just jump on to a bike and off I go. The learning process has been interesting which contributes towards the enjoyment of riding, I particularly like the feeling when something finally falls into place and I recognise that it has improved my performance on the bike.
Only six months have gone by since starting to ride and I feel like I’ve been riding for a lot longer. I’m looking forward to learning more and becoming more experienced.
If you have any enlightening insights or stories to share place them in the comments below.