Just realised that I have been mountain biking for 20years this year. I started when I was 11 with a Dawes Tracker (18 gears, plastic canti brakes) although I had been bombing about on my BMX and 24x1-3/8" racer before then. The freedom it gave me was great as I was able to escape to far flung corners of Gloucestershire and spent many rainy afternoons with a cup of tea and slice of fruit cake pouring over maps planning routes or looking for places to explore.
Looking back its a bit weird that I have kept it up despite how much I have changed in that time, I guess cycling just rings true with some thing deep inside of me that, say, playing the guitar or RPG games never did. I can happily ride alone, with friends or in a big faceless group of strangers; on the road or off and in all weathers. It has given me great memories, taken me all over the planet and given me employment for the last 10years.
A little riding in the last week but not as much as I hoped but my fitness continues to improve. Last nights ride up Cleeve had me leave the house in a foul mood after a busy and stressful day at work and at the bottom of the climb I really did not want to be there...so I analysed why I didn't and found that it wasn't anything to do with the riding; work, staff, accountants and food but not actually about riding. I completed the climb as fast as I ever had but at a much reduced effort and only a 2-3min recovery time. Loosing the baggage really helped.
Still not got back in to standing meditation but I plan to start today and try and build it up slowly. Standing for 5mins does not sound hard but maintaining the "knees slightly bent, back straight, arms loose" really starts to burn after 60seconds and I get the knee shakes. The trick is to not tense your legs but rather relax and let the tension out....but not fall over!
Amanda has emailed to say the new Chocolate Fish merino is in and she will send it off soon. I can't describe how great it is to have people helping in this way and since ditching all my synthetic cycling tops I have had no regrets...wool all the way! Look out for a write up on the clothes once I have had a chance to put them through their paces.
OK, plan for the day is: Mediation, hotel in Delhi, wedding insurance and a bike ride (surprise!)
Best get on with it...