But on our rides lately, when we've both had the road bikes out and are more evenly matched, I can keep up with my husband. In short sprints, I can overtake him if he's not ready for me *evil cackle*. His bike is a kilo lighter than mine and he's a lot stronger than I am, so he does get away from me after a bit when my legs start to ache too much to pedal like fury. But not nearly as much as he was getting away a month ago.
On our usual ride there is one short, steep hill that usually has us both gasping. At the beginning of autumn I was taking this in low gear and being overtaken by joggers, my breath sobbing. Now I'm doing it in fourth, and not gasping for breath. My legs ache by the time I'm at the top, but I can simply keep pedalling steadily and carrying on.
I'm not seeing much success in my permanent quest for weight loss since we started riding regularly again, but the improved fitness and stronger wind is a real bonus. I still long desperately for a cigarette on a daily basis, but then I think of that blasted hill, and all the other hills where we live, and the craving goes away.
Hopefully the weather will be fine - or at least not raining - on Saturday and we can head down to Olympic Park and get a couple of hours' riding in. For now though, I'm about to saddle up the trusty Pashley and head to the shops.