2021 has come to an end, all Strava records have been reset and you are blissfully eating your way through January well aware that the new cycling season is nowhere near, so you are thinking there is no harm in taking some time off of your training and diet plan, right? Wrong.
An essential rule, I believe applicable in all sports, is that it is much easier to maintain good form rather than build it up. So, it is very important to be active throughout the whole year and not only during race season or when the outside conditions are suitable. Therefore, this year I decided not to indulge in idleness, but start training outside as early as possible.
So, 1 January I took my bike and went for a cycling challenge. Usually I am well prepared for weather conditions, accidents, hunger, thurst, etc. It is a must to carry a spare inner tyre with you, unless you go tubeless, instruments to change it and a pump, especially if you are into mountain/cross-country/trail biking as I am. On 1 January, however, I decided to leave my spare inner tyre and take the pump, because I was planning on a 50 km road cycling. I thought chances are slim to none to get a flat mountain bike tyre on the road, it never happened on the trail, let alone on the road.
I happily started out, the sun was shining, birds were chirping, it was nice and warm, I took some pretty photos riding through the mountainous villages in the area of Razlog. I felt awesome.
And then on one long and steep hill something felt wrong instead of awesome. I looked down and to my horror my front tyre was flat as a pancake. Holy sh*t I thought. At least I had taken the pump and there were only about 15 km left from my route, so my plan was to pump the tyre every now and then until I get back to the hotel. Well, that did not work out. It turned out went through some pieces of glass, being just after New Year’s, and the tyre was beyond salvation. I sent my husband the location and waited patiently. Luckily, chilly wind started blowing, the sun hid behind thick clouds, sleeting rain started falling. Yay!
As I waited I enjoyed some folk music from a nearby village in the valley below, as obviously the festivities there were not over. Some young people, who passed me by on their way there, offered me to join them for the party and at that point it seemed like not such a bad idea. It took my husband about 30 minutes to arrive and save me. Thank God I took a spare jacket and a hat!
Despite the not so glorious finish of my first ride of the year, I enjoyed some picturesque views, breathed fresh air and had a great time practicing my hobby bike challenge. So, here is to a great start of the new year where more biking adventures await.
by Sashi Mikova