Monday, July 14, 2014

sunday lovely sunday

We went on such a nice outing yesterday morning.  I cycled for the first time in about 20 years!  We went to Maryhill swimming pool (we normally have to fork out for a taxi there on a Sunday) where the gates were looking particularly gorgeous in the sunshine.

I got Graham a Dulcie-sized bike seat for his birthday back in January, but he only got it up and running a couple of weeks ago.  (Long story.)  Dulcie and he have both been really enjoying it and I've been managing to overcome my crazy mother fears about the danger involved.  This weekend was the first time I'd joined them on one of their wheely outings.  I did not want to wear a helmet really, not because I look like a knob (I know I do!) but because it was all mouldy from years in the cellar, hanging on Hillary's handlebars.  Eugh.  But we're doing our best to get Dulcie to equate bikes with helmet wearing, so I took a spore or two for the team!
The cycle to the pool was pretty horrendous, to be honest, and I was regretting getting back on my bike and thinking wistfully about how I'd have to send her back to the charity shop from whence she came.  My poor bottom was in agony at every bump and I couldn't decide whether my thighs or my lungs were burning the most.  I kept worrying my heart was going to do something crazy (when I pedal bikes at the hospital, they have doctors and resuscitation experts watching my heart on a fancy monitor, after all, for fear of death) or that I was going to be hit by a car on the roads or cycle into a lamp post, or (worse) a pedestrian, on the pavement.  I couldn't really look around without veering dangerously, so I had to keep stopping at every potential hazard.  And it was uphill nearly all the way.  By the time we got in the pool, I was too tired to swim any lengths, but Dulcie insisted on riding me around the baby pool using my swimming suit straps as reins, so it wasn't exactly restful!  At least the water soothed my saddle sores slightly...  I spent most of my time there dreading getting back on the bike and wondering if there was another way of getting home.
But once we were back in the saddles, I had a total change of heart.  Gone were the cars, lamp posts and pedestrians, as we cycled along the canal path instead.  And it was glorious - pretty, sunny, smooth and flat!  I was able to pedal for a bit and then free-wheel to let my legs and lungs recover, so there was much less stopping and starting and much more of that lovely feeling of fun and freedom that I'd remembered from childhood cycling.
We left the canal path in time to stop off at Jaconelli's cafe for fried food and ice cream, which felt well deserved and made us all happy.  (I do worry I'm turning Dulcie into a comfort eater, something I've only recently realised I am.)  Unfortunately, it was back on the roads and pavements from then on to get home, but we went between pushing and pedalling and at least it was mostly downhill and I was a bit less nervous/out of control by this time.

My bum is still very painful today, but my thighs are surprisingly OK and my overall feeling about my first adult cycle outing was pretty positive.  I'm definitely up for some more journeys on Glasgow's cycle paths, although I wish we didn't have to go by roads to reach them initially.  I also wish Glasgow was flatter, but that is nothing new.

Lately I've been trying to think of ways to exercise more that would fit in with my life, laziness and poor health.  I can't see myself becoming a regular cyclist really, but some fair-weather bike riding can surely only be a positive addition and I think it's good for Dulcie to see us doing these sorts of things too.  I'll let you know how it goes.  If I say nothing, you can probably assume Hillary and the helmet have gone back in the cellar to gather more mould!

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