This morning, after only procrastinating a little bit, I got up on the bike and headed off to Kaiserswerth, a small town on the outskirts of Dusseldorf. Wasn't at all sure I'd make it but I was nearly the whole way there before I started to feel like I could really do with a break. It's a nice cycle along the river.
Once I made it as far as the castle ruins, I did get off the bike and take a break. Rested against a wall for a few minutes, had a quick wander around and then sat for a while and ate an apple. After a bit less than half-an-hour (it's a bit cold today - other days I could imagine hanging around for longer, soaking up the sun and reading or something) I decided to head back. The wind had picked up and move a bit so that what came at me from the side on my way there was now coming at me full on from the front. And I had put on my jacket while sitting and decided to leave it on as rain looked not too far off. All of a sudden I was barely able keep moving at all. Such a difference. I struggled on for ten or fifteen minutes, not making much headway and even being passed out by one jogger! So I decided that the resistance my rather capey jacket was creating might have something to do with it, even though it didn't really seem to be billowing too much. It was still far more difficult than the outward journey but taking off the jacket definitely helped. And the rain stayed more or less away - just a drizzle really and not all the way home. I was going to take a photo of my bike but in the end didn't bring my camera as I didn't want to chance stopping to get lots of photos becoming an excuse to keep stopping while I was on the road.
It took me nearly an hour to get there and just exactly an hour to get back. Which is kind of slow. On the other hand, if you had told me I'd be able to cycle for two hours at all, or that I'd make it 22km (nearly 14 miles), I probably wouldn't have believed it. And I'm getting a bit better at judging stopping and starting while taking account of the back pedal brakes. I think I'll leave the bike where it is for a couple of days but I have a few things to do on Wednesday both before and after work that would be made slightly easier if I use the bike, I think, so I'll plan on taking it out then. I can feel it in my legs and arms a bit at the moment but it's my bum I think I need to worry about recovering by then!