Slow Burn

On Sunday I rode down to the Bike and Bait shop near the Jetty in Bongaree. There Joe the proprietor went over the bike and adjusted the bits that weren’t right. At my request he replaced the rather flimsy and very uncomfortable saddle with one that did not wobble and come loose under my weight and which I found to my joy was delightfully comfortable to sit on. $60 well spent. I also bought a nifty trailer to tow behind the bike. Now I can leave the car at home and go shopping at Aldi by bike. Aldi is only a short way on past the pool.

With the saddle and handlebars now properly set up, and everything ship-shape and Bristol shanky I rode on to the pool pulling my fine new trailer behind. It was uphill most of the way and I was delighted to find how easy it was, dropping a couple of gears and allowing the motor to assist.

At the pool I swam steadily for two hours, in which time I completed 76 lengths, so I continued for four more lengths to finish my second two kilometre swim. That is pretty slow swimming. Less than a kilometre an hour. My feet didn’t touch the bottom of the pool for almost the whole time and my head barely came out of the water. I only stopped for a swig or two from my water bottle.

I managed the first ten lengths in 16 minutes. And easily did 9 in the second quarter hour. After that I lost track of time as I continued but I kept on counting. Towards the end I tried timing myself again and with a little more effort than I had been exerting in my steady progress I managed to swim 9 lengths in the last 14 minutes. There was a slight burning ache in my shoulders all the while as I swam. It was not too uncomfortable, but it told me I was burning energy and producing lactic acid. That had to be a good thing and the muscles should by building up strength.

Endorphins must be real because I just swam on, counting laps and following the blue tile line up and down the lane. Feeling good. I could have carried on longer. I wasn’t tired, but I was getting hungry. I’m confident that with a good porridge breakfast to start the day I’ll manage 3 km pretty soon.

On the bike, things have improved too. It is properly configured for me now, and I can pedal with minimal discomfort. I pedalled all the way from Bongaree to the pool, and after the swim I pedalled all the way home. 4.6 km in less than 20 minutes. Using the electric assist of course, but actually contributing. The new seat makes all the difference.

I bought the bike because both my doctor and physiotherapist said I should. Or an Exercycle. At the time I was screaming inside “What about the fucking pain? Aren’t you listening to me?” It was only when I was using an Exercycle machine and the physio was telling me that it was not the effort, but the motion that was important that it occurred to me that an electric bike might be the answer. I remembered my Aunt riding one when I visited her in Devon. I’m glad I thought of it. I’ll save on fuel for local travel and shopping, and still get exercise while out and about. From now on, all my local travel shall be by electric bike.

I’ve just realised I have returned to telling my future self what I’m doing and thinking.

Sorry if it is tedious to any others dropping by. I’ll post something more interesting soon. Not about me.

Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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