After riding for five hours, baking in the hot sun it was no surprise that I was very much out of shape. I hadn’t ridden in over three months. My legs had given up on me over 40 km ago, and I was riding just on fumes. The return trip hadn’t gone so well, and I tried to work out how many bonks I had gone through. Or was it just one continuous bonk? It was slow going but I managed to get home in one piece. It has been 104 days since I had a head on collision on the Eatlink trail. Months of pain & frustration which have taken their toll.
I rode 104 km’s. One kilometer for every day that I lost as a result of injury.
I caught up with Brad Lyell recently and mentioned to him that I had this crazy idea of a 100 km recovery ride. You can pretty much guess what his reply was, but he said that he would come along. I committed to riding in the MS Melbourne cycle ride next weekend, and my only hope to get in shape would be to do a ride like this.
I’m still in rehab trying to rebuild the strength in my shoulder. It’s only at about 80% strength. Thankfully it seems ok to ride on flats without too much discomfort.
There was a big question mark over how I could get through this ride. Pacing myself isn’t one of my strong points and I needed someone to keep me in check. Brad was great and said “you can turn around at any time and head home. It’s far better to get home feeling good than absolutely knackered!”
It was great to get back on the bike. Over the past three months I have been unable to train. I haven’t been able to use my shoulder and the worst part of this injury was the fact I couldn’t even lift my son. Kids grow up so fast and that’s time that I have lost forever
We headed down the Dandenong Creek Trail, and then down to the Peninsula Trail to Mount Eliza. The ride was going really well until we hit Two Bays Road. In hindsight I shouldn’t have tried to climb. It’s not a big climb at 2 km @ 5%, but hard enough to destroy me.
Shortly after we started to head back I bonked, and went a bit fuzzy. I distracted myself and remembered all of the well wishes that I received over the past three months. It meant a lot to get so much encouragement to get back on the bike.
I recovered for a brief moment then bonked and bonked and bonked. Eventually my body told me to get stuffed and the pace really slowed down on the last stretch.
The good Samaritans
On Patterson Lakes we came across a mountain biker rider who had a puncture and didn’t carry any spare tubes. Our spare tubes wouldn’t fit his bike, and Brad used a puncture repair kit to get him going again. I found it a good excuse for a 20 minute break, however the day was heating up, and we got baked, sapping what little energy I had left.
I managed to get home in one piece. Majorly exhausted mind you, but hopeful that I will pull up ok tomorrow.
Doing such a long ride after three months off may not be the smartest course of action. I just had bottled up so much frustration, and anger, but tried to remain as positive as I could given the situation.
Things have not been good, but at least I’m back on the bike. That’s the real important thing.
Here is a link to my Strava segment here.