'The BIKE'

My 'Flying Scot'
Built in 1964 by Rattrays of Glasgow
and now a little rusty.

The New Road Bike - a TREK 1.7T
A retirement indulgence!.

The Mountain Bike - a Specialized Hardrock Comp
Need to get 'hill fit'!

'The bike' has followed me around for over 40 years.

In 2008 I decided to have it serviced and refurbished to see if I could recapture some of the pleasurable days spent on it in my teens!

I collected it from Javea Bike Centre in February, along with a new pair of cycling shoes, sunglasses and a crash hat (compulsory here in Spain). However, a ferrule on the front brake split as I was preparing to sally forth and without a brake I couldn't risk an outing.

It took me a couple of weeks searching for a suitable spare, various unsuccessful attempted repairs and eventually another visit to Javea before the brake was working reliably.

In early March I set out on a short 12 km trial run around the valley - my first outing on the bike for over 40 years!

How did it go? Well, Maggie almost called an ambulance when I got home! Out of breath, red in the face and wheezing and dripping with perspiration, I concluded I had overdone it. Instead of taking things very gently, I had set off expecting to be able to push myself a little and enjoy a bit of physical exercise and fresh air. I ran out of steam after a few kilometres and made the first of 3 stops on my trip, brought about by a modest incline! I was woefully short of conditioning.

A few other outings brought about the same result and despite encouragement from neighbour and friend Sandy, my experiences on 'the bike' were not proving to be very enjoyable or successful. It was all too easy to find excuses to reduce and eventually stop my outings altogether.

2009 was going to be better! However, I procrastinated for weeks - a puncture in my mountain bike (which I had been using latterly as it had gearing more suited to the local terrain) and my state of unfitness didn't help. Eventually, in mid-April, I was off again with Maggie and neighbours Roger and Sarah, taking it very easy so as not to cause a repeat of the previous year's experiences. This time (admittedly several kilos lighter than last time) it was much more pleasurable.

I have now made several short outings - often accompanied by Maggie who is discovering the joys of cycling - and enjoyed them all as some condition returns to my legs and my lungs!

Watch this space!

After a couple of months the bug had really bitten. I was really enjoying the short runs we were doing and was itching to 'escape' our regular circuit and head off further afield. Mags and I had been doing regular 12 and 14 km runs around the valley - where there is no flat road - but no really severe gradients either.

It was proving a long job to get bike and hill fit but we were both seeing the benefits of our regular exercise regime (supplemented by early morning 40 min walks three times a week) but neither of us was losing any significant weight. In my case, dragging 97 kilos around was really hard work - and made any gradient that much more of a challenge!


Mags on the mountain.

Me ~ built 1946
looking and feeling very rusty.

Out for a spin.

Test Ride.

Climbing to Benirrama - July '10.