Episode 102. Real Easy. (Part 4).

Now the Real Easy is a lovely bike to ride, it's no light weight, but because of this it feels solid, and it's comfortable. Speed, is not was this bike is designed to do, I wouldn't even say that it's really meant for off-road activities, despite the big forks on the front, it's more of a cruiser. When I started riding again at the beginning of the year after a six week or so break due to laziness, the first bike I took out was this Real Easy, and on my normally forty(ish) minute ride it was anything but, and the ride took me about an hour! My forty(ish) minute ride, normally takes me between 38 minutes, and 43 minutes to do, I have in the past, on a road bike gone for it a bit, and managed to cover it in 34 minutes, but that was a very long time ago. However since setting the time of nearly an hour at the beginning of the year I have been nibbling away at the time. Yesterday, on the Real Easy I set my best time ever, today my, well everything aches! Todays ride was just to get out there and take the photos for this post!

I have been trying to keep up with the lycra-clad brigade lately, I've been managing it for short stints, but then they start to edge away. There are several reasons for this, firstly, I'm fat, and for the most part twice their age. Secondly, they're way fitter that I'll ever be, infact, they're probably way fitter than I've ever been! Lastly, their bikes are lightweight composite fancy roadbikes, and mine are heavy old bikes from the tip, put together by me. I'm not complaining, thats just how it is, and actually, that suits me just fine! But, like I said, I've been trying to keep up. As one of these young fellas pass me I try to keep up with them, until the next one passes me, then I try to keep up with them instead. Like I said, I've been nibbling away at my time, and I have been making consistant forty minute (and some seconds) times in this manner. Yesterday I wondered if I could actually break my all time best of 34 minutes (and some seconds). The reason for this was that I was actually, well, not keeping up with some young fella to be truthful. But he wasn't getting away as fast as they usually do!

I kept this fella in sight the whole way to the point where I usually turn around, yes, by the time we were nearing that point he was probably the best part of 500 meters ahead of me, if not a bit more, but, I could see him still... Just! I figured that as I approached the bit where I turn around and head back towards home the lycra clad fella would just keep on going, but he didn't, as he dipped out of sight I figured that that was that, but about ten seconds later he re-appeared, and he was heading towards me! I'm guessing that he turned around at more or less the same point as I do! As we passed one another, I gasped at him as best I could, "WAIT!" and carried on pedalling furiously. I reached my point to turn around, and headed back, fully expecting the young fella to be long gone. But he wasn't, as I got close to him I just gasped "GO!" And with that, off he went. My legs were burning, and my mouth was a dry as a Nuns fanny, but I thought that this was probably my best chance to set a new personal best. If I could just keep up with him. He was pedalling hard on his lightweight racing bike, and I was pedalling hard on my not so lightweight clunker! My heart was pounding in my chest, I was breathing hard, and eating flies as I went. I figured I was going to need as much protein as I could get! Make no mistake, I wasn't catching him, but he was only pulling away slowly! By the time I reached the road again he was a long way ahead, probably much further than he was at the point where we had turned around! But eventually I did catch him. Of course this was because he had stopped to put his bike in his van, but as I passed him in the car park he yelled to me, "Good ride, same time tomorrow?" The best I could do was give him the thumbs up as I pedalled on, I still had the best part of a mile to go, and although I'd not checked my watch I was fairly sure I had set a good time.

I tried to keep my momentum all the way to work, where I would see just how good my time was. Pulling into work, I was sweating like a blind lesbian in a fish mongers, my legs were burning, and I was feeling more than a little hoarse! I pulled out my phone to check my time, it was good! I had indeed set a new personal best time, a time that personally I doubt that I will ever beat. I didn't stop, I pedalled back out onto the road, my legs felt like concrete, and my heart was still pounding in my chest. I thought that the best thing I could probably do was to do a couple of easy laps of the estate, admittedly this probably added two or three miles to my ride yesterday, but I thought that it would probably be beneficial to how I might feel today! I did three laps of the estate in the end, and by the end of the third lap I really was cruising! I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself yesterday, but I think that spending the day on my feet probably hasn't done me much good. My legs today, infact, not just my legs, but today I feel stiff all over! Still, this morning I did go out for a far more gentle ride. I didn't see the young fella on his racing bike, which was a shame as I wanted to thank him for waiting for me at the point where we turned around so that I could use him as a pacemaker for my return run. But he wasn't around, however I've seen him a few times before, so hopefully before long I'll see him again. Although, I think it would be fair to say that I won't be trying that again any time soon, I must've been bonkers! Which brings me to my time, well I'm way inside my forty(ish) minutes, and I think you'd probably say that I smashed my personal best! My orignal personal best was set on a Raleigh Record nearly five years ago when I was about three stone lighter, and that time was 34 minutes, and 47 seconds! My new time, set on the far heavier Real Easy is now 27 minutes, and 12 seconds!! I'm never going to beat that, because I'm not even going to try!! I think it's going to be a fair while before I even stop aching!