Dirty White Bike, Sore Ankle & Embarrassment

I jumped at the chance to participate in the Ride2Raise ride. The past year has been a slow road to recovery from major surgery on my ankle suffered while playing football (as it happens with another of our riders, George). For those needing technical information, my surgery was for tibialis posterior reconstruction and arthoscopy of my left ankle. I have just started to play football and run some serious miles in the last month or so, and although still get flashes of pain, I’m moving in the right direction.

Before contemplating this ride, the most I had ever ridden was the 20 miles to and from Hyde Park to my flat in North London to participate in my favourite Saturday routine of rollerblading, so to have the carrot of 600 miles in 6 days dangling in front of me was daunting to say the least. I have to be honest too and admit that at the beginning I wondered if my ankle would be up for this challenge, or indeed if my whole body would be. In fact, getting used to being ‘clipped in’ to pedals was quite an ordeal for me. I purchased my first set of ‘clipless’ pedals and shoes in March and, after some practice and 3 falls, I am now quite used to them. Why is that that you can be on the emptiest of roads but as soon as you fall off your bike there is a tsunami of people on cue. Oh the embarrassment.

Note: Despite the fact that a rider is, effectively, clipped in to them, clipless pedals are confusingly so called because they do away with the traditional toe ‘clips’ and straps which are replaced by cleats on the bottom of special shoes – ed)

Since March, I have gone on several 50-60 mile training rides to places such as Epping Forest, east along the River Thames and Richmond. Not only has this provided good training but it has opened my eyes to new places around London which I would never had visited otherwise. I have gained a great feeling of satisfaction on completion of these rides.

I have owned my white Pinnacle Sentinel 1.0 bicycle for 2 years now. I’m not sure I made the right decision in getting the colour white as any slight speck of dirt shows up immediately. However, I’m sure the other riders will agree with me in that you get so attached to your own bike that however old it gets, you trust it and it becomes part of you. Therefore I am putting my upmost trust in my Mighty White for the ride to Edinburgh. It’s not the most technical bike – being an entry level road bike – but it does the job for me and is reliable.

Bring on a summer of long rides…

Mike

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