Considerations from 20 weeks of road cycling

At regular intervals, Lars Richter reports on his experiences as a beginner in road cycling. He already took us on a journey of the senses around the Leipzig lakes, told us about his little bicycle wonder and let us take part in his bicycle tour to the Baltic Sea. Now a total of 20 weeks have passed and it’s time for a little résumé about the small and big curiosities that the new lifestyle brings with it.

A short review

Since 1 March 2020 I have been riding my racing bike regularly. That is 143 days today. It seems to me as if I have spent the last years with sports, road cycling and constant exercise. But that is not true. I was a couch potato and spent a few years of my life in inner and outer peace. My BodyMassIndex was unpleasantly high – and still is…

But I feel and experience myself completely different now. More about that later.

Three times I lay down with the racing bike, which led to a change in my attitude towards the bike helmet. Now I even find it quite cool and my 2.5 year old daughter is proud of the fact that she alone convinced me to wear the helmet. After all, she always puts one on when she gets started with the wheel and doesn’t know any other way.

And this is how it looks now

I got fitter. Can’t really describe it. My largely immobile presence has given way to a desire for movement. The routes I used to drive by car out of pure laziness, I like to walk or cycle today – with pleasure! That’s crazy, but it feels right. I think that is the most important discovery. My weight? Well, I haven’t measured for a long time. The scales and I just ignore each other. Sometimes I see the scales standing in the bathroom and wonder what they’re there for.

Suddenly feel like running?!

Since a few weeks a new feeling has come up: I want to go jogging. So not as an idea in my head, but as if my body is asking for this kind of activity. Where does that come from now? But it was exactly jogging that destroyed my knee 3 years ago and made me limp on the right side for half a year. My doctor wanted to operate on my knee and so my journey actually began.

Anyway, I want to run again now and I don’t really dare to yet. What if the knee goes crazy again? Maybe I’m just (still) too heavy for it and the load is too high? That’s the advantage of the bike, that the knees are totally relieved. I should start to think about how to get off my 120 kilos… Maybe it is more about the food than I admit to myself? I have a thought – but it’s not there yet.

No fear of long distances

Long distances by bike have two components that need to be well thought out. Firstly, it means riding for 6 or more hours without interruption – in other words, endurance sports. And secondly, 6 hours are then missing for all other activities. So “let´s get down to business”: what is left on the line if you want to become a racing cyclist? The answer to this question is astonishing and my view on it I already told in an earlier story.

New goals

Once you have cycled 500 km in 3 days, the feeling for distances shifts. Even much shorter distances, where I used to think about – car or bike – are now often in favour of the racing bike. Apparently my pain threshold for the bike is 50 km and I don’t even think about riding this distance by car. That’s strange, because my body has somehow forgotten the former laziness and, as already mentioned, almost casually exchanged it for a pleasant desire to move.

As I write this down, I wonder if these arguments would have persuaded me to buy a racing bike years ago. CERTAINLY NOT! And if someone had advised me to do sports to improve my BMI, would I have gotten on a bike? NOT AT ALL! So what in the name of Allah has brought me on this exciting road bike journey? What was the triggering moment? I will think about that in one of the next stories.

This text was written by Lars Richter.

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