A few weeks ago I began cycling again, as it is summer and there is no excuse. I am aiming to cycle twice a week. I will probably ramp that up as Pedal for Scotland approaches.
But I don’t have the time to ride twice this week. Perhaps this is one reason why I decided to make today’s a big one by my standards.
Straight after work, I rode along the Union Canal. It is impossible to get much pace here, even if you want to. The towpath is narrow and usually busy. Today was even worse because it was much windier than I was expecting.
The last time I went for a long ride along the canal, I fell quite badly. I had been spooked by a faster rider behind me, and on the narrow towpath I almost ended up in the canal. Getting beyond that point today was a bit of a mental barrier.
This is one of the reasons I really wasn’t enjoying this ride at first. I was considering leaving the path to take a different route, or even going home. But every time a turn-off arrived, I found myself just wanting to carry on.
I figured out that what was making me miserable was the prospect of turning back, and failing at my loose goal of going further than I have ever gone along the canal before (which was Broxburn). I also figured out that the wind was a headwind, and therefore the journey back would be easier. So on I pushed.
Having been riding for about 90 minutes, I reached Winchburgh before deciding to turn back. The journey back was indeed much easier. But by the time I reached the Edinburgh bypass, when I still had 30 minutes to go, I was in a fair amount of pain, and felt like I could have done with the ride being that much shorter.