this summer I tore my calf muscle. more accurately, I strained it while biking up Mt. Washington. it didn’t tear for another few weeks, when I was dashing through the Detroit airport to catch a connecting flight. then I was out for basically two months of no riding.
well, to be exact it was six months without touching the handlebars, and then a couple of weeks doing a mile here, a mile there. by early november I did a 10 mile ride, and then by mid-November I did a ride to work (13m, but not home). then a 15-miler on Thanksgiving Day.
but hills were always hard. for the first couple of weeks I pedaled up hills one-legged, or took my mountain-climbing bike (different from a mountain bike) and stayed in the baby 24/36 gear I used on Mt. Washington. it wasn’t until 3 months after the initial tear that I rode *home* from work (and after riding in the same day), which involved the steep side of Bellevue Hill in Roslindale. And I was pathetic, going up the 8% grade at maybe 3-4 mph. and it hurt, boy it hurt. not only that, but on the way in I averaged 90% of max heart rate, which means I’ve gotten terribly out of shape.
today I did about 10m on the coast and then headed into South Boston which, to my surprise, has hills! and there I was, 3-4 mph again. arrgh. I need to do some strengthening exercises, otherwise I have no hope of doing Mt. W again this summer.