2011 was without a doubt, my worst year yet as a cyclist. I’m not counting years previous to becoming a cyclist in the first place, of course.
Thanks to spectacularly throwing my back out at the peak of my fitness 3/4 the way through 2010, I’ve mostly spent the last year suffering various degrees of back pain and a new knee pain which has also manifested. I’ve not spent the entire year off the bike, but my total miles for 2011, spread across 12 rides, was a pitiful 220 miles. The longer rides I did manage were plagued as much by my lack of fitness as the knowledge that after the ride I would suffer more back pain. Too much riding and not enough other exercise is pretty much what set my back off in the first place, and wasn’t a psychological help, either.
On the up side, having spoken to a lot of health & fitness professionals, and one or two world-leading physiotherapists and read a few books on self re-alignment techniques, I feel I now have the tools to get off my ass, fix my own back and start riding again.
So in the hopes that starting in the dark winter months will mean I’m fit enough to enjoy the summer months, I started out small at the end of November, doing one short ride a week in the pitch black, freezing cold mornings. Not the easiest thing to do but I didn’t want to leave it till January, New Year’s Resolutions are bound to fail. After having a week long head cold over the Christmas period, I’ve just been out for another, very slightly longer ride earlier today. 17 miles rather than 10-12.
It feels REALLY LAME going for such short, flat rides when mentally you feel like you should be out for much longer, and climb at least a few Coteswold hills along the way, but I’m determined not to blow out my limited engines too soon, and stress my back out.
I thought perhaps sharing my progress back to riding ‘properly’ on Talking Treads would be a good thing. Maybe some readers have struggled with similar issues. If you’re interested, I’m using the methods found in ‘Pain Free’ by Peter Egoscue to set my back right, as well as using the FKPro Bodyweight suspension system to build up my laughably weak core, which is basically resposible for holding my spine up like it should be.
So, for anyone interested, you can see my first ride of the new year here.