Week one of the mission to get myself back on my bike has not been a resounding success if I am being completely honest….in no small part to a certain part of my anatomy not quite used to being back on the bike. Not my legs strangely they were feeling OK with back to back days riding to and from work on the trusted Giant MTB, it was being in the saddle that was causing more of an issue! Any cyclist will tell you that even with the best padded chamois shorts/leggings in the world, if you have not spent time in the saddle, you are going to pay the price! So two days off the commuting by bike have been in order to allow the sores to heal have set back the mileage goal, however I have still completed more miles than any preceding weeks for some time so it’s still a win!
One annoying factor of this week has been this peskey bolt…. Self admittedly I have been trying to avoid buying a replacement for about 2 months now as I have been planning once the Christmas spending splurges were over and my impending birthday was approaching that I would replace the whole groupset, so why pay £20 for a new bolt when the whole drivetrain groupset is being replaced in a few weeks? Cue me in my shed most nights trying to fathom how to keep said bolt in place during my commutes.
I have tried every strength of Loctite known to man, tried different ways of doing it, the main issue is for some unknown reason that is beyond common sense to me, is that the bolt is tightened by turning it clockwise, whist the pedaling action is anti clockwise, meaning every pedal stroke is in effect loosening the bolt. It dawned on me on one of my roadside stops to re tighten the bolt that the spindle in the centre of the crankset which is detachable, may be in the wrong way as I had taken this appart some months ago for servicing and repair. Few hours in the cold garage and several layers of Loctite later the bolt did not come loose on the commute the next day, this is not to say it won’t still work loose but to say I have cracked it might be tempting fate!
After all that and a few setbacks it does feel good to be back on the bike, my “anxiety spikes” are not as they have been in previous weeks, and the quiet time that the bike allows has allowed me to put a lot of things in perspective. Some interesting reading from a writer called Nadja Hermann in the Guardian called “I lost 13 stone – now I know the truth about obesity…” is a recommended read from me this week! I won’t spoil it for you but it makes for a very interesting lunch time read! More so the section about “fatlogic” and just how many calories are in our food, something I will cover in my next blog post!
With my weekly target of 50 miles to achieve this week it is looking like I might just scrape through if not beat it by a mile or two, a far cry from a few years ago when I was putting in over 120 miles a week in commuting miles alone, but hey ho we all need to start somewhere, and like the great Eddy once said – “Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride”.
You can read more of my journey battling mental health and my mission by clicking here! One Velo is sponsored by Cool Hammocks – Suppliers of the UK’s best quality hammocks and hanging chairs.