Juggling baby and bike

Baby Buddha

My blog fell strangely silent towards the end of last season. I think the picture should explain it all. Of course the arrival of young Master Luke (Luka actually) has rather changed things. Everyone tells you it does, so I had to have a plan in place – family comes first, but I am not thinking of giving up mountain-biking just yet. Indeed, I need to still be on form in a few years’ time when our little fella can get on his first 5″ frame!

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

So this was the plan:

Not this exact model, but a second-hand job I bought from a biking friend for 40 EUR – bargain!

The plan was to rest up for a month or so in November, when baby arrived, and then start pedalling indoors (in our small apartment) as soon as we got into some sort of rhythm. Well, it’s taken a little longer than a month but finally in Janury I got the rollers set up – the band that connects front and back had snapped, so I fixed this with an old inner tube which works great, except for leaving a black rubbery streak on the floor after every use!

I had seen the regular type of trainer, where you stick the back wheel into some kind of device that provides friction/inertia whatever, but until I saw this for sale I hadn’t considered this option. Not only is it cheaper, but many would argue that it is better, giving you as close an experience as possible to riding on the road. If you’re not familiar with this, basically there are two back rollers, on which your back wheel rests, and one front roller for your front wheel. The two sets are connected by a band which keeps the front wheel turning in sync with the back. Basically it’s a balancing act, especially in low gears, one mistake and you CAN end up riding off the side, though not much will happen. Still, it’s good to have a nearby wall to catch yourself on! Once you get going you can get up some serious speed, and while you can’t simulate climbing, you can do most of the standard base training exercises in the various heart zones (though had to tighten the band for fast spinning as it kept slipping off).

However, it must be said that you still experienced the ailments common to all forms of indoor bike-training:

a) it gets very boring – 40 minutes on the trainer is an absolute eternity, so long endurances rides, are going to only be for the masochists among us. I think I’ll wait for the weather to improve…
b) no wind to dry you off, thus gallons of sweat pour off you, so do it on a tiled floor!

Oh, and I do wonder what the neighbours think of the strange whizzing noise over their heads at 7pm every night (after Luke is put to bed)!

Bike and baby

Believe me, it takes serious commitment to put the baby to bed, about ready for bed yourself having rarely got more than 6 hours sleep that night (and that’s when your baby is a good sleeper like ours), ignore the smells of dinner, set up the rollers in your hallway and start pedalling for 40 minutes. And I need to gradually increase that time in the weeks to come! I wonder how other bikers cope with the arrival of a new member of the family without shirking their paternal/maternal responsibilities?

(Oh, and as for what I am training FOR, well, more on that next time, when I’ve figured it out myself!)

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