I have being struggling to find a new hobby other than anything related to computers & programming. First I got a Kindle – it was a gift actually – and got really excited about it. I started reading some romances and fantasy books until the day I bought a technical book and then suddenly it looked like working instead of leisure time. So I started jogging. I still do eventually. Jogging was pretty intensive in the beginning when I was making 5km in less than 30min five days a week! 💪I got an injury on my left foot and left jogging behind for a couple weeks. It’s still something I like to do in my spare time. Although now I’ve my new road bike and I can’t think of anything else to do on my spare time other than exploring Berlin cycling.

It’s a simple road bike however quite comfortable, at least for now. I’ve got a CUBE Attain SL which is an entry level endurance bike from CUBE, a german bike brand. I should also make a note here: choosing a bike is a terrible task. I’ve being looking for different brands, models, types, groupsets, blog reviews, youtube reviews, damn. It turns out that everything that you need to adjust to your budget is a hard task to do. It wouldn’t be different this time. Moreover, in this case particularly, I’ve found amazing bikes that I fell in love with but how can I afford it? Even worse scenario that actually happened to me: you’ll find a “better” bike right before you bought one. That’s fine. I’m thinking this is a clear case of “the grass is always greener on other side of the fence”. So it’d better to cool down and try your brand new bike before thinking of upgrades and stuff like that. It might hurt your bike’s feelings as well.

Since I bought I rode almost 150km until today, less than a month after. It’s not that much but still it’s something I’d say. Although Berlin is a great city for cycling, I do prefer to ride outside of the urban area and its cycleway. Mostly because there are a lot of people using it for commuting and it seems that I’ll be bothering them somehow. For example, I like to go a bit faster then they do usually so it’d look like I’m trying to rush people that are riding in front of me. Not a problem though, at least for me. I understand that mostly people there are using it to commute and not practicing a sport.

Currently I rode in some different routes here with different distances as well. First one, is on Treptower Park and Plänterwald. Both amazing places for a short and easy ride among green paths and close to the river. Another one was a ride that takes you until the Schönefeld airport, also with an amazing path until there with a smooth paved way, perfect for road bikes. It’s a bit longer though, from my place it took about 2h30 to make the whole route loop. Almost 50km I’d say, I’m not sure. Totally worth it, the way is also close to the river and one impressive thing is when you are riding close to the airport you can see the airplanes taking of quite close. The last one I did was this weekend. It was a trip to Müggelsee, a lake in a green area real close to the city. It has bathing areas as well however I couldn’t make use of it. Also amazing route for road bikes and I think I got only well-paved ways, not even cobbles. This last one took longer, about 4h in total, 3h30 moving on a 75km distance. It should be 50km only but by mistake I took the wrong exit and did the route surrounding the lake twice. I should’ve notice earlier that not fixing that mistake would be an awful idea. But well, I was felling ok that point in time so I decided to keep riding.

Considering my last ride, it wasn’t that much longer in terms of distance but for sure in terms of time spent. I could’ve done it in a shorter time and I think there are two reasons I couldn’t this time: 1) I decided to ride with my tyres on low pressure to make it more comfortable; 2) the most important one: my fitness level; There’s one thing that I need to keep in mind always that I start to think in bike upgrades again:

it’s the man, not the machine

I definitely need to improve my fitness level. I was felling ok while running although it was always hard to finish 5km in less than 30min. So to achieve a better fitness level I’ll try to follow a training plan suggested on Garmin app. It’s a 8-weeks-plan that aim to increase your resistance and give you strength enough to raise the average speed on trainings. I should make use of flat paths here in Berlin to improve my fitness conditions as I can almost simulate indoor conditions outside – at least it seems so. Then, later, I can start to thinking on climbing small hills as it will require a better preparation. Meanwhile, I’m happy that I do such great rides with a good performance without coughing my lungs out.

I’ve being considering to do even longer trips such as a journey from Hamburg to Berlin (300km) or from Prague to Berlin (530km). I totally think it’s doable but It’d be better to take it easy and be well-prepared before start thinking about such effort. Anyway, it’s always good to set goals and try to reach them. Maybe I’ll take a longer ride like this as a motivation to keep riding and keep improving. Can’t wait to be able to do it.

🎧 Os Paralamas do Sucesso – O Caroço da Cabeça

Published by Daniel Salvagni

A Brazilian front-end developer currently based in Berlin.

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