Getting ready for bike 2011

For me getting in shape for beach season has always been less interesting than to get ready for bike season. Strong back and arms makes me able to enjoy long rides, even on a Ducati Monster.

But this morning I woke up in pain. I have a lingering back problem caused by a combination of being tall and working with small children in an not very (at least for me) suitable environment. Normally I keep it under control by regular visits to the gym, but lately nothing seem to work. It’s hard to say if the solution is to rest or exercise more… but since resting is boring I took my pushbike for a spin in the morning and at least the pain didn’t get worse. Tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment is going to be interesting. I hope we can find a solution.

Although this is a problem to consider I wouldn’t let it interfere with my travel. I just have to adjust my plans to physical conditions and allow shorter riding distances. Later on, I’m going to ride out and see how I feel, but at the moment I’m happy to await the temperature to drop below 30 and sip ice coffee in the studio. I’m going to work on the blog a bit and provide my travelling plans and some personal information.

my work space
my work space

 

First leather ride of the year

Living in Spain doesn’t give me a first riding day of the year, which indeed is a very positive thing. But today was my first day riding out in my leathers and it feels appropriate to make this my first blog entry. Even though the actual grand tour is 11 weeks away this marks the start of the preparations.

Lots of things can happen to you and your relationship with your leather. Previously, I have experienced that my leathers seemed to have shrink in the closet during winter. This time, I was happy to confirm that my leather still fitted me but a bit annoyed that there is still a pressure on my knees. I guess my legs didn’t get shorter during winter, what did I expect?!?

Although I ride to work every day, and always in full gear, I don’t use my leathers daily. This is due to practical reasons… like the convenience of wearing clothes while arriving at work. For commuting, I use a cordura jacket and trousers along with my riding boots, gloves and helmet. But when riding out for leisure and traveling I prefer leather for safety reasons. I like the feeling of the leather holding all my limbs together and I know for a fact that it saves lives. Needles to say, riding can be dangerous and I do what I can to keep myself safe.

Enough about that. Now, the ride: I left Alcobendas and went for the A1 up to San Augustin de Guadalix, made a mental note (again) of not refuelling at the gas station opposite Plaza Norte since there is no immediate way back on to the highway. In San Augustin the fun begins. M-104 to Colmenar Viejo and later M-625 to Guadalix de la Sierra are nice twisty roads and had very little traffic today. Then, continuing on M-911 towards Torrelaguna and Patones which gives  beautiful scenery with green hills and mountain views. One of the reasons Madrid is a good place to live – mountains! The destination of the ride was El Atazar, a beautiful place with a water reservoir and mountain scenery. Before turning the bike back home I had an Aquarius and took some photos.

My Monster at El Atazar

My Monster at El Atazar
 me, with ugly but conveniently helmet friendly sunglasses
me, with ugly but conveniently helmet friendly sunglasses

Reflection: What to do with the knee-problem… legs don’t get any shorter… investigate possibility to prolong leathers?! I do remember the inconvenience it caused last year 🙁 Forward to “To Do List”.

I need to remember to bring good looking sunglasses for use without helmet… forward to “Pack List”.