Friday, February 17, 2012

Too serious

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;
This week Tony joined us. Tony is a strong dude. His cruising speed is pretty fast for me, and he's on a cross bike with nobbies, while I'm on a road bike with 28mm slicks. On a continuum of difficulty, I'd say normally, I cruise the flats at about a 6 (of 10). With Tony, it's for sure a 7. And climbs. I think I'm normally about a 7. But I go to maybe 8.5 with Tony... or with Bill, for that matter. Which is sort of interesting. Because I think I've only done a 10 a couple times. I'm afraid of something there. One goal this year is to try hitting 10 a few times. Bill thinks that may be the key to unlocking my climbing potential. Of course, I think loosing about 20 pounds would really be the key.

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.


bihlbee said...

What I intended, reflecting back over the last two Friday rides, is that those were "two serious rides". Meaning the last two rides have whumped me. Too true about all work and no fun, but so far no worries of that happening.

bihlbee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Speare said...

clearly. i was projecting.

Anonymous said...

Two funny.

I like the dirty clothes picture.

Anonymous said...

You seem to delete alot of comments. Is somebody mocking you?

John Speare said...

I only delete spam, which is pretty rare. When it says "removed by author" -- the "author" refers to the commenter -- the one above was a dupe comment made by bihlbee.

wh said...

nothing is mutually exclusive yo-

Anonymous said...

Reporter: Are you a mod or a rocker?
Ringo: Um, no. I'm a mocker.