This week has seen a relatively gentle re-introduction to training. Having spent four days cycling into the unknown, I’ve returned to the old familiar routes. For one reason or another however I’ve approached some of the routes from the opposite direction for the first time. Having felt like I’d exhausted my options for relatively short rides close to home, the experience has opened my eyes to a whole new range of possibilities.
What I found most surprising was how different the hills feel when approaching them from the opposite direction. I know this sounds obvious, of course they’re different; the “Ups” are “Downs” and the “Downs” are “Ups”. However, even taking that into consideration, the hills were quite different to what I was expecting; a long, fast descent doesn’t necessarily mean a difficult climb from the other direction, insignificant descents can become sharp, punishing ascents and long straight slogs can turn into an easy roll. Perspective and context are everything.
The scenery looks totally different too, It’s like I’m cycling along roads for the first time, they are far from familiar. I know people say that in order to get to know an area you should get out of your car and cycle or walk around it, but I would suggest that you do this from both directions to make sure you don’t miss anything.
I’m sure there are lots of lessons that could be applied to other areas of my life from this experience:
- If you think you’ve exhausted all your options, look at them again from a different perspective
- Things don’t have to be difficult, it depends how you approach them
- If you want to try something new, try something old, differently
This new perspective has provided a nice distraction as I settle back into the next phase of my rehabilitation. The next month promises to be one of consolidation as I prepare for the next of my three Summer events, a gentle 54 mile roll to the South Coast as part of the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Bike Ride. Keep on pedalling!