Two weeks - mostly - off the bike. Resting. Feeding ducks. Dosing myself with weird supplements to make it feel as if I'm doing something about it. Just broken by my own stupidity, which is arguably better than being broken by someone else's stupidity, but has the flipside of removing any possible get out clauses.
Bikes sulking and stropping in the bike cave. Bike shoes skulking unseen. Chain lube getting dusty.
Mornings watching RHR dropping daily, frustratingly, slowly, like a stone through treacle - 50-ish - 48, 47, 46, 44, 43, 43, 42, 41. Which is almost normal.
So this evening, the Pace got dragged out, lubed up, lit up, pumped up and loved. Local shop ride, old people, new people and familiar trails, grippy in that slightly damp grit way. Up Chunal, cruising, then onto the Shooting Cabin backwards. Clean across the bridge, then swing right and wide, cruise the first step then through the scrabbly loose stuff, gently through the ruts then wide, left and soft-pedally up the loose climb.
And yeah, to cut to the nub of it, better. Or at least close to it. Just lovely to be back on a bike, the speed, the movement, watching the sun slowly sinking. All the familiar sensations I've missed - the chattering speed of loose, rocky descents; burning legs on friendly climbs; a half creditable attempt on the Middle Moor steps - I'll nail it one day and soon - and a fuss-free clean of the bottom of William Clough.
And the kick is back - fierce and bright and sharp. I can't stop smiling.