The first ride home was erm... different must i say. Been using underground / Tube for as long as i can remember and now riding the city definitely has a whole new perspective.
Got on the ride quite OK, other than trying to get my hopeless right feet to slot in the toe clip while the pedal moving up and down (need more practic as I can't bear to hear your chrome toeclip scratching the souless tarmac).
Being the noob, first time riding in the city - getting lost is definitely in the agenda. First wrong turn at Totttenham court road, ended up at Oxford Circus whereas I should be on the other direction toward New Oxford st. Took a U-turn and ride toward New Oxford st and things seem to be moving quite fast, and yes I still feel as lost as before. All I did was keep pedaling and god knows how i ended up at Farringdon though i suppose to cut through Holborn + Chancery Lane.
Anyway gave Bee a call and sorted out the direction - just head towards the river she said. By now my arse hurt like a mofo, the hard saddle and London bumpy roads - are doing a good welcoming job for me, my arse. Finally saw the familiar sight of the Thames from Blackfriars bridge but i missed the turn and ended up crossing the river, sighz by now i were feeling a light burning sensation on my thighs - I've been riding (or getting lost) for a good 50mins. Managed to cut through the Borough st - London bridge and finally cross the river at Tower Bridge - pleasant ride but still not completely confident riding so close with hardmetal traffics.
By TowerGate i thought i were familiar with the route as I pedal through Shadwell to limehouse to westferry then... hmmm where was I, nothing seem as familiar or recognisable from my faint visualisation of the route (normally I'd visualise through the comfort of sitting in the DLR). Took me couple of turnings and I was back on track, cutting through the Canary Wharf underpass as I emerged out - the familiar multi traffic lights installation on Westferry roundabout definitely worth giving myself a pat on the shoulder. I've been riding for about 90mins if not more by now, my legs were shaking, my arse never been this sore, my arms were tired, my back were aching - but with the sight of Canary Central (home), I gave myself the last push and crossed the finish line.
So I guess for now, I will have to unite with my bike on a physical and mental level, to gain full control and understand of each other before you see me with some tricks - perhaps the first "trick" is to get my silly right feet into the toeclip smoothly.
Oh a valuable advice for you bro, get a padded shorts or briefs for your first long ride - it helps trust me. And I've invested in a pair of Cat's Eye (front and rear lights), an aluminium multi tool, a couple of padded boxers, a massive (heavy) level 10 security lock and insurance for myself and bike in case of accident or theft.
Won't be riding in work as I'm not tht confident with daytime traffic and routes. Till then I'll keep messing about, getting my stance right - even with my sore arse.