How to feel about missing things

Or, alternative title, this is the first summer in a very very long time when I won’t have ridden 100 km on my bike and I’m not sure how to feel about it. (Actually, that’s not quite true, there was the first pandemic summer when I was very apprehensive about riding big distances. It wasn’t because I worried about catching covid-19 or giving it to anyone else, but I was concerned about hospital capacity, and even the small risk of a crash seemed too much.)

But before that, it wasn’t since my Australia and New Zealand sabbaticals in 2017 and 2012. I did a lot of riding in Australia and NZ and even some regular racing (thanks to Women on Wheels and the Vikings) but because of all the hills, people didn’t tend to regularly ride big distances. Or at least the people I regularly rode with there didn’t ride long distances. There were endurance cycling groups but that community seemed different than the racing cycling clubs.

In my world, a century is a kind of cycling landmark. People talk about their first century ride, for example. I’ve given advice here on the blog about how to prepare for your first century.

In my early years of cycling my first century ride, 100 km, came early in the cycling season. I have very fond memories of riding to Port Stanley and back to London in late spring, early summer. See, for example, A feminist fitness bloggers’ century ride to Port Stanley. I’m afraid Tracy’s memories of her first century ride are less fond. Sorry, Tracy.

In 2018 Sarah and I did our first century of the summer on the day of the 1 day version of the bike rally. While not our best choice, we survived. I think that might have been my latest ‘first century of the summer.’

But this year I won’t make it at all and that makes me a little bit sad. Just like missing the bike rally.

Someone said recently, well maybe that’s the new normal for you post knee replacement–50 km rides instead of 100 km rides. And maybe it is. If it is I think I can accept that. I’ll still love riding my bike and I’ll focus on getting faster.

But it is also just four months since total knee replacement surgery on my right knee and just under a year since surgery on my left knee.

Patience. It’s early days.

I am setting myself the goal of riding my age in a day, so that’s 59 km in a day by the end of August. I am also taking part in the Pedaling for Parkinson’s ride in Prince Edward County and that’s 40 km on August 19. Our team is Spinning for Susan and you can sponsor us here. Meeting my goal might cheer me up!

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