Went out with the Brighton Explorers Club today for what turned out to be a 27-mile on-road bike ride.
Biking from Brighton has essentially two choices ... you can go either along the coastal road and there are gentle rolling hills ... or, you can go up and over the South Downs to country lanes. Country lanes it was!!
Just to get to the meeting point was a 15-minute uphill jaunt before heading out with the group which was yet another 15-minute plus uphill ride to get to the highest elevation point, before coming down the other side of the Downs and onto the country lanes.
Now, having not cycled in a large group for several years, it was a bit daunting ... wondering if I could keep up or whether I'd wimp out so badly on the hills that I'd be dropped off! I also wondered whether I could keep up the pace! I'm used to being out biking on my own, doing my own thing at my own pace. So ... if I slow down, so what?!? However, with others around, slowing down to much is not really an option if you want to keep together! Funny how I teach others about building confidence and managing nerves, yet I had moments where I struggled!!
In the end, the ride was gorgeous and an executive decision was made en-route for a pub break to warm up, have a bite to eat and then afterwards make our way back rather than continue on the longer route as planned.
Imagine this ... warm cozy pub with a log fire going, a fine lunch in us all and then we have to get out in the cold to head home ... up to the top of the Downs. Hmm ... not a prospect I particularly looked forward to!! Can you imagine that!?!
Well, much to my surprise, I did make it up all the hills to the top of the Downs. There was a point where I thought I might take a short walk break (I know, I know ... wimp!!) however carried on. I kept repeating to myself 'slow and steady, slow and steady ...' and got there in the end!
I'm home now, wrapped up nice and warmly, waiting for my hearty soup to cook ... hmmm!