Finally got my butt back on the bike today and 3 things were immediately obvious to me:
1. Not riding a bike for 8 months greatly reduces one's capacity to participate in this activity.
2. There are no flat roads in my neighborhood.
3. Riding my bike is fun and I need to do more of it.
Now the first point was actually something I knew intellectually. It was the wheezing, lung burning, struggle to move that brought the true reality of this statement home. I survived the ride but it was more work than it should have been.
The second point I sort of knew from driving through the area, but when experienced from the seat of a bike it is much more readily apparent. Now Strava and Garmin say I only experienced 71 and 72 feet of elevation gain respectively over the ride, but it certainly felt like a whole lot more!
The last point is one I know and one I am reminded of every time I swing my leg over the bike and propel myself along. I've said it before and I will certainly say it again - I would rather bike 5 times a distance than walk any day.
One other thing I noted on the ride, as I was huffing and puffing my way uphill on Gowan, was that there are other cyclists in the area. I call them cyclists because they were decked out in matching jersey and riding not inexpensive bikes. 2 of the 3 riders, however were just. Not a 'hello' or 'on you left' as they rode by me. Sure I was on my hybrid, in jersey shorts and a t-shirt and I even went heltmetless, but I said hi to them between gasps as they passed.
Anyway this was my first ride of many to come and I enjoyed it.