Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

A matter of building some confidence

3rd March 2014

Last Saturday came stunning but there was a list of things to be doing so I didn’t get to making the most of the weather. Nevertheless, a useful hour was spent out on my new Dahon bike. The journey was short and took me from my house to Bollington and back. The Middlewood Way formed the outbound leg and offered useful off road acclimatisation to someone who has not done so much cycling over the last two years. Finding oneself negotiating a busy junction after being out of practice can fell more daunting that it should so that needed sorting.

Aside from the there being no road traffic, there are also was a chance to fine tune the set up of the bike. It was easy to stop and raise the saddle to the right height as well as tweaking the handlebars. Though there were others out and about, it didn’t mean that the bike could be put through its paces to see how fast it went and how well the brakes really worked. Like my mountain bike, the Dahon is low geared and that may be just as well anyway. A touring bike might be a better proposition for any longer distances like going from Macclesfield to Chester like I did the most of four years ago now.

On the way back, I tried both it and myself out over roads and could do so with a little more confidence knowing that seat and handlebar settings were more optimal. A major roundabout was negotiated safely along with several road junctions. A diversion through a quieter housing area was a deliberate way of adding to the acclimatisation before going further afield.

Before that, I need to regain more of the fitness that I used to have because any hills tested me, even smaller ones. That could mean more short cycles like the one last Saturday and I am wondering about popping the mountain bike on rollers (otherwise known as cycle trainers) too so wet, windy or cold weather and shorter hours of daylight no longer can be an excuse for not being on a bike more often unless a certain prospect of boredom does for my good intentions. Going somewhere for real is a motivator that is hard to beat by other means.

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