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A year of cycling

There I was thinking that I'd started cycling to work in Sept, and it transpires I started on the 28th July, so my proud boast that I've done 2000 miles in a year is not quite true.

But still. Hey! I've done 2000 miles!

I'm now cycling the 5 day week, on a newly serviced bike, which has taken the cost of my journeys right back up to a current £2.32 each. Cheaper than the bus and tube but it had better be a while before I have to spend out again, that's all I can say.

My fervent wish last September was to be a comfortable size 14 by this time. Given the bizarre clothes industry obsession with flattering its customers, I seem to be anywhere from "Size 12-14" (cycling shorts, which are stretchy anyway, so you know, almost don't count); "Size 14-16" (those really nice satiny red PJ's, which James calls my 'slinky dinkies') or indeed, still slugging it out at size 18. Turns out that it's not just cycling you need to do, it's also the not eating cakes thing. Or, you know. Something like that. So in my quest to feel happy with myself, which I fairly well do at present, I shall attempt to, as if by magic, turn my occasional afternoon muffin in to a banana. I have also foregone butter on my sardines on toast. Christ, what a bloody sacrifice! Well, to be honest, not really, because the sardines come in a spicy tomato sauce so you can't taste the butter anyway.

I like butter, by the way. I shall not be changing to "I can't believe it's not trans fats" or any other ersatz products. I'm with Huge Whittingstall. I say eat real food, not processed crap. Just... eat less. A bit.

Anyway, back to the biking. Far more interesting. When the bike was serviced, the guy who did it lowered the seat a tiny amount, but it made an enormous and noticeable difference. My immediate reaction was that I felt a little bit like someone had squished me from above, and was a dwarf (sorry, I don't know what the sensitive term is - person of restricted height?!) bent double or something. My back shouted loudly at me for several days, worryingly, in an old spot of referred pain that had been reasonably silent for months. Then after it got used to the change, it shut up. Meanwhile, I discovered my ankle and knee pain had gone, and I was faster on the road (although that could also be due to the toe caps I now have fitted). I keep being able to sprint, particularly up a hill that's on a slight incline - it's lovely to really vavoom up the hill, giving your legs a really good stretch of pushing... and yet at the top, they're not tired, it's only my lungs working overtime. In short, I feel like I could do another 5 miles, easily, if not more. A single accidental change has made an enormous difference.

No near fatal accidents to report. No serious bumps and scrapes. A new steel back wheel and back kevlar tyre, which should keep me going for a year or two. Oh, and Autumn approaches apace. Balls.

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