Our Online Ed attempts her first club ride post-baby and is surprised to find it went better than expected.
On Saturday I attempted my first club ride post-baby. I have been avoiding the club ride vibe thinking it would simply be too tough for me and I didn’t want to be the one holding everyone up. But riding with them was the best decision I’ve made to kick-start my comeback.
Every Saturday our club does the same route which is fairly short, just long enough to give the legs a spin, and then we all enjoy a social cup of coffee afterward. The ride caters for various levels of cyclist and on Saturday they split the group into three; the leg shaker (55km @ 26km/hour), leg loosener (40km @ 25km/hour) and the leg warmer (35km @ 23 km/hour). I opted for the slower leg warmer, seeing as the only cycling I have done in the past year is on my mtb along the cycle path, solo.
It was another postcard-perfect day in the Mother City and we soon settled into a good rhythm heading out along the West Coast Road. It was strange to be concentrating on all the roadie-type skills needed when riding in a group such as holding your line and drafting. I battled up the first hill, huffing and puffing whilst everyone was chatting around me. But at the top, I caught my breath and really started to enjoy myself. The company was great, I felt strong (possibly from the weekly pilates sessions I have been doing) and the scenery was spectacular. Some of the group turned back early but I opted to stick with the main bunch and see how I felt. The route comprises an out and back ride but with loops in between and after the first loop, I knew I still had to do the journey home, so I decided to turn back on my own. On the way back, the faster, leg loosener group, caught up with me (they had done a few more loops) and I clung onto the back of them for dear life until I lost them in the ‘burbs where the corners got the better of me. Note to self: practice cornering.
The ride was completed with a cuppa and a catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in months.
All in all I was chuffed that I felt so much better on the ride than I thought I would. Riding in a group is a great benchmark as to how far you’ve come or how far you’ve still got to go. It’s also a great social outing for a Saturday morning.
Not a member of a club? I encourage you to join one. Ask around at your local bike shops for any in your area.
Are you a member of a club? Send your club’s details to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are compiling a list of cycling clubs across SA and need as many details as possible.