Saturday, 22 October 2011

How often, how far, how fast?

How often should I cycle?  How far do I need to cycle to stay fit?  How fast should I cycle?  All good questions for anyone taking up cycling but today's question is how often should I cycle [to stay fit]?

With the pressures of work and the daylight getting so short, I've not had the chance to get out and ride my bike over the last week or two.  I really miss it.  And then yesterday there was a "window" late in the afternoon when I could just escape for an hour.  It was a wonderful ride; no where new or anything like that but still a wonderful ride which culminated in the awe-inspiring view (just had to stop and take this photograph).  A chance just to reflect on things as well as huff and puff up a couple of short hills.

After the short steep hills, there is a longer more steady climb, perhaps about a mile.  It wasn't too steep, I could maintain 10mph quite easily but I could feel some muscles telling me they weren't used to this and what was I up to!  That took me by surprise - just how easily some muscle strength and tone could be lost.  Also a reminder that running does not automatically improve my cycling!

I'm thinking that I need to have a decent ride (i.e. 20 miles plus) at least once a week at weekends, if I've not cycled to work at least once in the week.  This will help my muscles stay "in tune" for cycling and it helps mentally in terms of the opportunity for reflection, pondering and mulling things over.  I'd hate the thought of starting from scratch again.

Mind you, I wouldn't want you to think I'm taking things too easy as I've been out running this week, including 8 miles this morning.  I set out just before sunrise and just as I got to the top of the nearest small hill 15 minutes later, I could see the sun just coming up above the horizon.  I ran on autopilot watching it rise above the distant horizon and I felt truly blessed; I was very thankful for such an uplifting sight.

So, just to conclude, memo to self etc.  Make sure you get out at least once a week for a bike ride; covering 20 miles or more.  Don't even think about ice, snow or other reasons, just make sure you get those miles in.


  1. I don't know the answer to your question but it's a great photo.

  2. Thanks Anon. Also from yesterday I've got one which is very similar and in black & white which I hope to use in a blog post soon.