It had been six weeks since I last cycled to work. With the arrival of a baby in the house our lives are barely recognisable from before with all of the time and energy required to cycle disappearing into the all-consuming baby vacuum. Recently, however, I have been able to juggle some my of my work commitments (‘juggle’ is a business euphemism for ‘avoid’) and have reallocated this time to getting back on the bike.
This week I commuted to work twice by bike and noticed that it is not only our personal lives which have changed dramatically over the last 6 weeks. Summer appears to have turned to Winter, the clocks have changed, the days are shorter, the temperature has plummeted and for all of this I have had no breaking-in period. I was gasping my way up the hills feeling a lack of fitness in my legs and a disgusting burning taste in the back of my throat, before grimacing my way back down chilled to the bones and feeling like a bit of a wimp.
I’ve also been seeing a physio once a week to try and restore my lower back. Sitting down at work, sitting down in the car and cycling have all contributed to a tight lower back and thighs and a lack of ‘gluteal’ muscles. For years my wife has joked that I don’t actually have a bum but to have it confirmed by a medical expert made her day. Being massaged for half an hour sounds like an enjoyable experience, but it turns out to be an expensive form of torture. The only way to get through each session is to repeat the mantra that if it hurts it must be doing some good. And to yelp like a little girl if it gets too much!
My plan leading up to Christmas is to find the best balance between work, cycling and family. With the available hours for cycling getting ever shorter, and the cutest little baby back at the house, it seems that work may need to stick to the back-burners for now.