Last night was cold and dark and cold. And dark. But mainly cold. So cold that the roads had started to freeze over while I was out on the bike, making junctions and corners much slower than normal and I generally just had to be more careful.
However, despite all this, I took my “miles cycled to date this year” figure to just over 100 miles. That’s 103 miles in 17 days – and yes, I’ve managed a bike ride every day so far. I’m also way ahead of the target 17.5 miles a week, coming up to around 45 instead, which is way better than I could have imagined.
Of course, I’ve been pretty lucky with the weather up to now. Very little rain, and certainly no snow as yet. When that happens, I’m not going to be out on the bike for obvious reasons. At least I’m building up a decent bank of miles now, anyway.
There has been a physical effect on me for all this cycling. I expected it, but not so soon. My legs have… changed. My calves, and to a lesser extent my thighs, have become rock solid. There are muscles where muscles didn’t used to be. My recovery time (in terms of breath, rather than leg-ache) after a ride has now dropped to virtually nothing – even after cycling in the cold. And, of course, I’m finding it easier: I’m able to ride a bit faster, and am able to cover longer distances more frequently.
As an example, there’s a regular 4.7 mile route I take. Last year, it was taking me about 26 minutes to cover, and that was in the light and nice weather. I can now do that route and an extension to it (taking me up to about 6.3 miles) in the same time – in the dark, cold, and wind. If that’s not an improvement, I don’t know what is.
Yes, I’m only just over a couple of weeks in, there’s plenty of time for things to all go wrong, and I’m still a long way off “properly fast” and such, but I’m astounded on a daily basis of how much I’ve improved so quickly.
Oh yeah, and Super Mario 3DS Land was well worth 22 Miles