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It was never going to be an easy ride after several months off.

The bike being in storage, and a family member being ill meant that Sunday’s ride - the first since January - was something of a baptism by fire for the whole body. Two hours in the saddle, puffing hard on a (frankly basic) hill that any seasoned rider would simply dance up, with all of last summer’s improvements undone: it really didn’t feel great. And yet it simultaneously did.

The satisfaction of getting round something resembling the usual short circuit, with some pitifully-short-distance Strava PBs as morale boosters, was enough to break the funk. Summer is aching to arrive, and despite the chilly April mornings it’s bliss to be out on the bike. Early summer mornings are made for head-clearing rides like these, no matter how out of shape I am, and no matter what pace they’re taken at. And I cannot wait.