Chloe and Cal riding with shadows on grass field

Brighton – Arundel, the first adventure.

This was my first proper padded-bum-whole-shabang bike ride. We cycled along the sea, through the countryside and ended up in the quaint little town of Arundel, the round trip was about 50 miles. I actually surprised myself with how well I could ride, although I do feel that will be a whole different story once I try out cleats. We stopped only once on the way there for a pizza break, naturally, but all in all I felt good and was really happy with my performance.

Once we’d arrived we parked up our bikes in a padlocked shed at the entrance of Arundel Castle and then spent some time wondering around with the sound of C’s cleats tap dancing as we went. The Castle was very pretty but we needed to grab some food and head back so we didn’t stay long. This was when the “fun” started…

Now, sitting on a drop bar bike for a long period of time isn’t natural, or at least it certainly didn’t feel that way for me, the ride there was absolutely fine, although I have to admit I was pleased to be off the bike whilst we were exploring the castle. Getting back on was not so fine. My neck felt like it was going to break. I hadn’t ever considered that to be something worth thinking about, yet here I was, my neck being the only thing holding me back from a pretty smooth bike ride, I was surprised at first, but very quickly became irritated and impatient. All I could concentrate on was how heavy my head was feeling and no matter how much water I was drinking or different positions I was trying (or at least trying to try) nothing was relieving the pain. I was suddenly very jealous of anyone that can ride with no hands, and very annoyed at the fact I had never tried to master the “look mum no hands” during my years of riding up and down the street as a kid.

The pain was actually the most surprising discovery from this ride. Generally I felt good on the bike, my legs felt strong and I didn’t feel completely out of breath which I had expected to, it was other parts of my body, that I had never even thought about, that really hurt. Neck, hands, shoulders, arms. Why this surprised me, I don’t know, it makes total sense that these body parts will ache after being held in a position they weren’t used to, but I was completely dumbfounded at the pain I was feeling. The only pain I was expecting was my legs to be dead, and even after waiting a couple of days for DOMS to set in, the pain never came. Instead the palms of my hands felt like they’d been punched, the top of my back and my shoulders felt stiff and bruised and I couldn’t even squeeze toothpaste because my forearms were so weak. I’m not entirely sure how to stop any of these things from not hurting again, I guess just practise and allowing my body to get used to the position I ride in will help, but I’m determined for bike rides to not be made more difficult because of my heavy head/weak neck.

I know that one big change that can help ease the pain will be riding a bike that fits me and is mine and this is something I am very excited to say has happened! I spent the day yesterday building my very own, sort of franken-bike, and I could not be more thrilled.

I will post all about the build soon! So until then, see ya!

C xoxo

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