An enforced rest – know when you are beaten

Tired cyclistLegs dead, they hurt climbing stairs. Pain strikes when standing from a seated position. Time for rest. I’ve been commuting every week and cycling every weekend since November. My legs have given up.

Mentally I’m shot too with 9-5 (more like 8-6 of late) office life taking its wretched toll. Colleagues have been talking at me for weeks now and I’ve somehow satisfied their needs by pretending to understand what the hell they are yakking on about. My incomprehensible grunts seem to answer their questions. Sleeping badly, every inch of me needs rest.

Yet still it takes enormous will power to take a weekend off cycling. The bad weather helped. So too the fact my bike needed some TLC after a winter spent slogging away on salty, muddy roads. It was less race bike and more a tractor. With the clocks going forward and stealing, that’s right, stealing an hour of my weekend, then I needed all the rest I could get.

Throughout winter my mileage has been short but intensity high. I don’t remember having felt so strong so early in the year. Taking a rest now will undo such work, my tiny mind thinks, when the reality is riding with tired legs will send me into a downward spiral. Progress will slow no matter how many times I shout HTFU.

And relax…

Sleeping with the bicycleSo what does a bike nut do when they’re not riding? Bike stuff of course! A half-hearted bike clean (wet wipe special) and a mini service to make sure all is smooth. Glass picked out from tyres. Gears re-indexed. Brake pads checked. Chain oiled. I’m now more eager than ever before to get out and ride.

Yet rest I must. I watched the pro’s bouncing over Belgian cobbles, the wind literally blowing them into the canal. Finally, I was happy to be indoors and practice my little Buddhist mantra to encourage my legs to heal… heal… heal.

What else? Well there were new routes to plan and lost roads to discover if only on a map. Cycling blogs to write and cycling videos to watch. The Woody Allen hypochondriac in me also Googled away in search of miracle recovery cures, of which there are none. Just time off the bike. Bah.

A big summer awaits. Scotland, the Alps, Majorca. Rest I must.


19 thoughts on “An enforced rest – know when you are beaten

  1. I find that when I need a rest my body does something to make it happen. Right now I have a pulled muscle under my shoulder blade after doing a very hilly audax and pulling to hard on the bars, so a week off, but I was tired.

    Where in Scotland are you going? I have a week there soon and intend to ride the Mennock Pass and The Devils Beef Tub hills.


    1. I’m lucky enough to have zero injuries on the bike in over ten years but then I usually know when my body is about to break! Hope you recover soon.

      I’m off to Inverness, Skye and then Beleach Ba, before heading back to Inverness. Can’t wait. Assuming of course the weather is kind. Just googled your ride, looks like some great hills and valleys.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The very one. With panniers! I drove it a couple of years back. It’s no hardknott. It’s more the length and height rather than gradient. Oh and the weather too. Just hope I have a tailwind. And strong legs.


  2. “Taking a rest now will undo such work, my tiny mind thinks…”

    That’s a trap we all fall into, that’s for sure! The experts all rattle on about rest and recovery being just another phase in your training – easier said than done though eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Had a big off in April 14, high speed impact with wall, numerous broken bones, shoulder blade, ribs, collarbone, dislocated shoulder, rash… lots of rash. A year later I’m getting back to it with my first 100 mile week just under my belt.
    Imagine my horror at the prospect of having been told I wouldn’t ride for 3 months, the fitness gone, the fatness creeping up on me, the missing of the tour de bloody france on my doorstep! Well it was worse that 3 months it turned out nearer a year till I was riding at anything like usual distance and pace but guess what? Didn’t turn into Mr Blobby, gaeind no weight. Kept my speed ok and only thing I lost was the distance stamina, mainly due to the inability at first to hold the bars properly with my re-organised left shoulder arrangements.
    Take heart guys, a few days off really isn’t going to end the universe as you know it. I reckon, despite coming very close to not being here, I have a happier relationship with my bike. Prior to this nudge I was out on Sunday whatever the weather, now I look out the window and if it’s foul the coffee machine goes on and the feet go up. I just wish I’d chosen a less painful way of teaching myself the damn lesson. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris, sounds like you’ve had quite the year, there’s injuries and then there’s a broken body. You’ve experienced the latter but lived to tell the tale. Welcome back to the road after such a long time off. Keep plugging away at the miles, as you say, fitness is like a good girlfriend – smiling on your arm when you pay attention and respect her, gone the minute neglect creeps in. To happier days.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi. You have the wrong Chris. I am still intact at the moment, but if you have had a premonition, then………….

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Too many Chris’s I think! The only premonitions I have are those of an imminent bonk or feeling sick shortly after some hill reps. Take it easy out there!


  4. A Bike Nut?? Sounds like me. I can’t leave my bike alone it drives my wife to distraction. I’ve done Scotland (the weather was atrocious). and have also cycled through Majorca. Great trip but I was very glad to get home to the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scotland was fantastic, weather not too bad. My second visit to Majorca was a little tiring. Alps amazing but as you say, there’s nothing quite like riding at home.


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