For the last few weeks, Bill and I have been doing hard rides on Fridays. Last week and today have been especially tough. The rides are part dirt road and part paved. They're around 50-60 miles and include around 3000 feet of climbing. And we attempt to maintain a moderately-fast (for me) pace.
Sometimes Tony or Jon joins us.
This week, our goal was to do the same loop we did last week -- which was fairly miserable and cold --to see if we could improve our time a bit on a non-rainy day. We screwed up a turn so that plan went to heck. Luckily Tony had an alternative route up a really awful hill (Stoughten Road) that popped us out on the Palouse.
Here are links to the Garmin site for each ride -- I love this stuff;
In any case, as we finished the ride and pedaled down Ben Burr, Bill remarked that, "these rides are getting too serious." I think he was joking. But I also think he's right.
There's a great thrill in rising to a challenge and to feeling a sense of accomplishment after a hard, long ride. No doubt there.
|It's come to this. Since the last thing I'm thinking about on rides is taking a picture. I take pictures of my dirty clothes. Sweet!|
But I think we need to back off a couple Friday rides by enjoying a ramble through the dirt roads of the Palouse with friends.
For years I've avoided being a "serious cyclist." I really love riding and to be "serious" about it has always frightened me a bit -- for the potential to make riding unfun and for the potential of being disappointed in my performance as a serious cyclist. But in the last year or two, I've really come to love the fast, hard, challenging rides. I'm also noticing that the more I do harder rides, the more fun all of my riding becomes.
I no longer see a wall between the two camps of "riding for fun" and being a "serious" rider. They're mutually beneficial, as long as their always balanced by a requirement to enjoy the ride -- in whatever format that may be at the moment.