Today was my last ride in the Bolsover area for another year. I fly out tomorrow.
I only had time for a 35-40 km ride. I had to pack and close up the cottage for another season. This always seems to take the better part of a day. I chose to do the Canal Lake Loop, a familiar ride past scenic views of the lake that includes the biggest climb in the area.
This was a farewell ride. A celebratory ride. I didn’t push it. I did that yesterday. I cycled at a comfortable pace stopping several times to enjoy the scenery and solitude. The only sounds on the back roads came from my jacket flapping in the wind. Whenever I stopped, it was silent. No cars. No farm machinery. Only birds sometimes chatting it up. It was exquisite. I’ll miss the quiet.
I cycled 15 out of a possible 21 days this trip. Fewer than I expected. And, clocked over 700 km averaging almost 50 km per day. I planned to cycle more but the weatherman didn’t co-operate. When it rained, I rested.
I thought of this trip as a training camp of sorts. I am pleased with the results. I have lost a few pounds. I’ll know better when I get back and weigh myself. I am stronger. Cycling in the wind helped to not only strengthened my legs but improved my pedalling stroke. It is noticeably more efficient. I pedal in circles effortlessly – on the flats, into the wind and climbing. And, I am more aerodynamic. I ride on the drops most of the time. I actually prefer the position. It is a more powerful position and clearly there is less resistance. Yesterday, I did an 80 km ride at a relatively fast pace. I didn’t tire – felt like I could have done a lot more.
Tomorrow I am back to the city. Traffic. Congestion. Television. Work. Noise. And, compromise. I’ll need a week, maybe longer, to readjust. I have done this many times but, this time, it’s different. Previously, I would think of the cottage as a place to holiday. I am now beginning to think of it as a place for extended visits.