Road Ride – Cragg Vale, Blue Ball Lane

Bill called in and we were sitting around and having a good old moan about the rain over the past month and how little cycling we'd been doing as a result, then, suddenly, the clouds parted and at last we got some sunshine. We sprang into action…

Bill dashed home to get his bike while I got changed into my cycling kit and checked my bike ready for a ride. We didn't want to do a long one. Well, perhaps we would have liked to, but the time was getting on and I had lots to do this evening so we settled for this hilly little route: Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Cragg Vale, Blackstone Edge, Blue Ball Lane, the network of lanes up there, Scout Road, Mytholmroyd, Calder Valley Cycleway, Hebden Bridge.

It was very pleasant being out on the bikes, but not busting a gut doing a long, hard ride. In fact we were back in about 90 minutes. I felt a lot better for having stretched my legs for a while.

I'm not super-fit at the moment, but I can still do a hilly 19 mile ride like that with hardly any effort. Really unfit people don't get it, and think that I'm bragging when I say things like that but I'm just being honest. Most of the people I hang out with are much fitter than me.

Folks – in my opinion, if you are between about 10 years old and 80 years old, unless you have a genuine health issue which stops you, you really ought to be able to do (say) a hilly 25 mile bike ride or a hilly 8 mile walk without it exhausting you. If not, why not? The human body is a fantastic thing and responds wonderfully well to exercise but it's a case of ‘Use it, or Lose it'. I choose to try and use it. Why would anybody prefer to lose it?

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