I’ve blogged before about forgetting about all the trappings that we love to surround ourselves with and just getting out on the bike and riding for the sheer joy of it. Today was one of those days. I had planned a ride out on the road bike but, because of strong winds, decided on an hour’s ride along the seafront on my Giant Roam. I had nothing planned and was just wearing shorts, t-shirt and shell jacket.
But you know how it is, after 5 minutes I had the great idea to photograph some of the places I would normally ride past. And what was going to be an hour’s ride along the seafront turned into nearly four hours and 43 miles. And that is what it is all about. Just getting out on the bike for the sheer joy of cycling.
And here’s a short video of the ride:
And finally, Garmin Connect: https://www.relive.cc/view/965928651
Over the summer, I started to lose the drive I had for getting up and going out on the bike for long rides. Even shorter rides started to become a chore. Certainly the inner chimp had something to do with it. But so did the rigmarole that a lot of us go through before getting out on the bike. You know the sort of thing: checking the bike, pumping up tyres, finding the right cycling clothes (which I always swear I will put away in the same place but never do), fill-up water bottles , find shoes, find sun-glasses, etc, etc. And finally, get out on the road.
Once out I’ll be constantly checking my average speed, average cadence, the length of time that I have been riding, the distance covered, even the road gradient!
But what about the joy of cycling?
I know a lot of cyclists go through this sort of thing and just need to rediscover their mojo. But thinking about it, what had happened to that great feeling I had when, as a kid I would just grab my bike and head off somewhere? Not really knowing where I am going. No special clothes. No Garmin. Just riding for the fun and freedom it gave me. Escaping from my neighbourhood and exploring pastures new.
I remembered listening to a Resonance FM Bike Show podcast a couple of years ago which had an interview with Grant Petersen who thinks most cyclists need to ‘unrace themselves’. That is, stop trying to do what professional racing cyclists do. He suggests that instead we should all ride more comfortable bikes in more comfortable clothes and be more relaxed about the whole experience. It’s about simplifying cycling to the essentials – a sort of ‘minimum viable product’.
So over the summer I have been giving it a go. Just grabbing my hybrid when the mood takes me and heading off somewhere. Making my Sunday morning ride less of a ritual. And trying to stop worrying about the data from the rotating screen displays on my Garmin.
And do you know what? It’s put the fun back into cycling.