I can't stand gyms. I went to a ladies only gym in Southampton for a while, but hated working out next to the whippet-like women in full make up, tight lycra, and dangly earrings, running for miles on the cross-trainers but barely breaking a sweat.
So, I gave up the gym, and for the price of 3 months gym membership, I got a really nice second-hand bike instead. And most of the time I'm pretty good with it, but come winter I go into hibernation mode. It's dark when I leave the house to go to work, it's dark when I get home, and really, if I could sleep all winter I would.
Around this time of year, though, I slowly come out of hibernation mode. On Thursday boyfriend and I ventured out for our first cycle of the year. We only went 6 miles, to warm up and prepare our bodies for a spring, summer and autumn of regular long cycles. And on Friday I managed 15 miles. I'm hoping to manage at least 20 on my next cycle.
I always find the first 10 minutes on a bike the toughest, but then my body settles in to the routine of pushing the pedals and it starts to feel good. Really good. The fresh air and the changing scenery really keeps my motivation levels up, and I find myself going further and further than I could have done in any gym.
I didn't really take any photos, but here are some from our last cycle of last year, mountain biking round Loch an Eilein in Aviemore, that I haven't shared yet:
It was wet, hence the trendy red cagoule.