21 Mar 2016

21st March 2016 Got to have a tussock or two.


Monday 21st 41-44F, 5-7C, windy and non-uniformly overcast. Despite the balmy temperatures the wind had me huddled deep into my shell of a jacket. My nose demanded the regular attention of a worn scrap of tissue I found deep in a jacket pocket. I was grateful for the high zipped collar of my Norwegian style jumper today. Far more practical than any restricting polo neck.

A difficult day to manage the usual over-inflated balloon of self-importance as the wind buffeted my [initially] aching body after yesterday's foolishness. Nobody else cares how far or how quickly I manage to reach nowhere of remote important and return largely unscathed. Well, perhaps the bit about avoiding injury at the hands of some demented and deluded driver. If only to hear what I am going to rant on about today. Rather than some natural sympathy for the silly old pedant on his tricycle. 

I can just hear the likely thoughts: "He deserves everything he gets for the way he goes on and on.""He's just like those adverts for obscenely overpriced batteries in every, single, ITV break for decades!" If they were so damned good they should have thrown themselves of the shelves and for a whole lot less for not being advertised to death! Will that do? ;-)

With the cold wind, light rain after lunch and no pressure to go out I took another rest day. My walk had already undone any discomfort in my back and legs from the previous day's ride. Some [serious?] cyclists believe that walking is bad because it may work on muscles which are not relevant to cycle sport. I disagree completely thanks to my own experience. I have often hobbled off down the drive with an aching back and legs only to miraculously recover before I have gone very far. The mere act of holding oneself upright [Martin Freeman's Dr.Watson military style?] seems to have real benefits in my own case. A Neanderthal gait might be entertaining, for those Danes who still like clogs, but this is very unlikely to provide the same powers of recovery.

Residual cycling pain in my legs responds readily to walking on very rough grass. [Not on the roads which just makes me tired and bored!] The benefits may be due to an inability to judge the point and timing of heel impact on rough grass. The body and mind must become very supple to avoid repeated and unpleasant jarring. Particularly on steep descents. I certainly respond to walking where massaging my own leg muscles has very little, or absolutely no effect at all. For the first several years of taking up cycling seriously again I suffered from leg and back pain continuously. Day and night there was a constant sense of chronic tension. Only lying flat on my back seemed to help the back pain. No stretching exercise, borrowed from the internet, helped my legs.

If only I had discovered walking on rough ground earlier I might have enjoyed much less pain and made more rapid recovery from my longer rides. I doubt that city dwelling cyclists will have the luxury of my many, rural walking routes. Rough ground usually belongs to somebody and may be inaccessible. The local park may have rougher sections with changing inclines to try. Disused railway lines or canal paths seem likely. Or deliberately take to the verges on the industrial estate or quieter roads. That is if they haven't already been paved everything to death or become a dog toilet. The former, just to avoid the habitually clumsy going arse-over-tit and then suing the council for their personal inadequacies. City dwelling dog owners, seen out and about without approved toxic hazard suits, should have their noses rubbed in it! Or get a bio-degradable, vegetarian dog?

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