Seriously Outclassed

So I set out this morning for my first meet up with my new cycling buddies. I worked out a route – fifteen miles each way – that I was fairly certain wouldn’t kill me, especially as I would be stopping for lunch half way through, and set off, slightly anxious about being late and thereby breaking their only rule. Thirty miles in total might not seem much to some people, but the longest ride I’ve done to date was 19 miles, and my bike is making some seriously worrying new rattling noises, so I was a little apprehensive, and quite pleased that I was going to be able to huff and puff up the worst hills by myself and not in some group ride where I would be holding everybody up.

Of course, as I did huff and puff up the worst hill, I caught up with two of them (this is no reflection on our relative speeds – they waited for me at the top) and we fell in together. While not, perhaps, actually in their nineties, they were certainly past retirement age and a good twenty years plus older than me. So I was a little dismayed, as we finally reached the pub and I collapsed at the nearest table, to learn that not only had they come from five miles further away, but that they were planning a slightly more challenging route on the way back (‘it’s a wee bit hilly’). We were then joined by another chap who lived only ten miles away, so had taken a more scenic route – 25 miles more scenic to be precise – to compensate.

The pub was pretty soon taken over with lycra and cycling talk, with me still the youngest there by some margin (and probably still the pinkest in the face too). We had excellent soup and tea and sandwiches and the conversation turned to types of bikes as my own was busy letting the side down in the carpark outside. ‘Och I used to have a mountain bike,’ said one of my new companions with a twinkle in her eye. ‘Back when I was climbing Munros, we got one to ride down those long tracks so we could do 2 or 3 of them in a day. But I’ve done all the Munros now so I sold it and stick to my road bike.’

After lunch, I turned down their offer of joining them on the tougher route and plugged my way back steadily up and down the many hills on this, the not so hilly route. They’re going to be climbing a mountain tomorrow. As for me, if my legs are anything to go by, I will be setting myself the challenge of climbing out of bed. When I grow up, I think I want to be like them. And I definitely want one of their bikes…

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17 Responses to Seriously Outclassed

  1. GOM1 says:

    That sounds like a fun outing. Did you do the 30 miles in the end? And is it all on OSM?

  2. The Baby-Boomer generation will not be leaving quietly…

  3. disgruntled says:

    GOM1 – yes and yes. My little corner of the world is filling out nicely now
    WW – they won’t be leaving any time soon either, if this lot are anything to go by!

  4. Sarah says:

    Is that one of those people who never does a Munro twice? What are they going to do about the remote Corbetts?

  5. Flighty says:

    In twenty years time you’ll be outclassing youngsters! xx

  6. disgruntled says:

    Flighty – yes, that’s it, my problem is I’m too young!
    Sarah – erm, are Corbetts so called because they’re the shorter ones? My favourite hills are the ‘Marilyns

  7. bikinginla says:

    You should take some pride in just finishing your ride — 30 miles is a huge leap from 19. Even I would have built up to that slowly, maybe at least do a 25-miler in between. Keep it up and one of these days, they’ll be trying to keep up with you!

  8. disgruntled says:

    Well, I’d done the 19 all in one go, and this one had a break in the middle so I had a feeling I’d be OK. My legs may have another tale to tell tomorrow though!

  9. Flaneur Brian says:

    Call me an old anarchist but some things are best left to individual expression, religion and cycling being but two of them. As soon as they become “organised”, you’re in for trouble…

    Just wait, before long they’ll be asking why they haven’t seen you at the kirk of a Sunday!

  10. disgruntled says:

    It’s more likely they’ll ask me why I wasn’t scrambling up some mountain in the sheeting rain, but I know what you mean. Still, they’ve been going 10 years and have only generated the one rule, so I think it’ll be fine…

  11. Sarah says:

    Corbetts as in “I’ve done my Munroes, now I’m doing my Corbetts”. Usually uttered by the kind of folk who won’t do a hill twice.

    (Corbetts are 2500 – 3000 feet. Smaller than Munroes but bigger than Marilyns.)

  12. Sarah says:

    Of course, technically speaking before someone else says so, a Munro or a Corbett can also be a Marilyn.

    It’s all to do with relative height above the surrounding ground.

  13. Paul says:

    I see that sanity has prevailed and you have returned Lance’s time-trial machine to him. Was a $10,000 bike fun?

  14. disgruntled says:

    Sarah – hmm. Takes all the fun out of climbing mountains, really. Although I can see how the desire to ‘bag’ a new one might encourage people out.

    Paul – Shhhhh. Nobody knows about that…

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