Who was Lady Bower anyway?
Today was really difficult. I woke up and my headache felt really bad, and I felt extra, extra exhausted. I really felt a couldn’t ride. But. I know that even when I feel like that, I can ride, so I ploughed on. Hoping that at some point, I’d find that confidence and energy.
In truth, it took a long time coming. About an hour into the ride in fact. The first bit of the ride was flat, on fire roads–so easy that I didn’t need my full concentration. And that was the hardest bit of the ride. My mind wandered and I thought about the pain I was feeling. I just wanted to give up.
And then… Lockerbrook descent. A nice rocky, rooty, long descent, not crazy technical, but needing all your focus. It was so much fun! When I have to completely tune into riding, using my skill, and easing off the breaks, that’s when my headache recedes. It ceases to be the focus of my thoughts.
We had some lunch and then, as I loved it so much, we pushed up Lockerbrook and went down again. I managed to go down quite fast too, in something like the top third of female riders down the track (looking at Strava). And Jedi smashed it–I think he whizzed past me like lightening, I think he’s in the top 5%.
We completed a circuit of the lake, and I paddled at Slippery Stones.
The day was, therefore, a success, but it was on a knife-edge with the pain I was feeling. I’ve been really pleased how much I’ve been able to accomplish this week. That’s without any fitness and not much practice. But rather, it has to do with mindset, and applying the skills I have. The headache even seems to help that–the headache forces me to tune in to what I want to tune in to, to drown it out.
I had a few comedy fall-offs, technical ascents where I got into ruts and toppled over. But I ended the day, on a road descent, with my arms off the handlebars for aaaaaages–a really long time. Jedi only witnessed the end. When I started to ride my bike and have fun, I used to practice aeroplane arms, but I haven’t recently. I’m not very good at taking my hands off the handlebars. But look! I did it! (You have to look really hard, I’m just a smudge in the distance).