At the end of the season for many of us in the Northern hemisphere or the start for the Southern hemisphere I thought it would be a bit of light-hearted, positive fun remembering why we love riding bikes.
Forgetting about the data and numbers, why do you ride?
For me I know that 10 to 15 mins into a ride, in any conditions, nothing matters and I can just be me in my bubble riding my bike, escapism I suppose
Its the one thing I’m decent at and I like to push myself physically and mentally against myself and others. We’ll see how I push against others next year when I hopefully race and don’t just aim to beat my friends on Strava
Sometimes it’s nice to pause and remember why we do this! For me, I just love bikes! It’s not something that can be described, but every time I even sit on my bike I feel just a little bit calmer and at ease. Even the sound of clipping into the pedals puts me in a different place. The competitive element is there, but that’s the same in everything I do, be it Xbox, music etc. However there’s something different about being on the bike.
I have a fantastic time going fast (relatively speaking, of course) and doing something physically and occasionally mentally demanding at the same time.
On a more personal level, I think the thing about it I love most is that the challenges and rewards, which are pretty much entirely intrinsic for me, are parallel with a good journey and a good story. I love that you get out what you put in, that you can decide to push on towards achieving a variety of goals. That can be winning or high performance, but it can also be as simple as improving, adventuring, and being physically capable in general. I know and appreciate where I live, Austin, TX, so much more because of thousands of hours of riding around and being part of it.
Ultimately, the things I’ve learned from cycling have definitively made me better.
Being able to get from A to B just by the power of my legs, independetly of anything (and travel reasonable distances, unlike walking). And being outside in the fresh air.
Think I’ll have to cancel my TR subscribtion on reflection…
For me, it’s being out by myself, in the middle of nowhere… and then those moments you look around and think … Wow
I don’t know how to describe it.
When i’m commuting. Even if it’s in the rain. It’s more pleasant than taking my public transit option.
And i feel accomplished when i get to my destination.
When i’m riding with my buddies, it’s just fun enjoying their company, their jokes, spending time with them. Sometimes it’s also about those silent moments where we’re pushing hard up a hill.
If i’m competing, it’s about seeing how hard i can push without breaking. How much my hard work has paid off and pushing my limits.
That’s all road biking.
When i tried MTB … it was a bit more stressful than my trail running (which i enjoy a lot) because i['m new and it’s not natural to me…but having that silence on the trails, minus the freehub clicking away… or my buddy’s fatbike tries whooshing away… it’s just so quiet and there are so many sights to take in and enjoy.
Technically speaking, it’s being able to push hard without having as much danger for your body (say compared to running). Being able to make your heart stronger without breaking your body as much.
Seeing the progress of having a super elevated rhr when you first started, to now having an unchanged rhr the next day as you’ve become more efficient.
It’s all these things…and more
I am extremely fortunate that I could ride just about every single day here in Southern California if I wanted. It very rarely gets cold to the point I can’t ride. There are several bike paths that I can ride on. We have bike paths that stretch along side the coastline. Paths that go from the Coast all the way to the mountain foothills. At the mountain foothills I could go up the mountain roads. It’s a freedom I don’t feel with anything else. I get to see wildlife, the occasional coyote. A red tailed hawk flying away with a rabbit in its talons. The turkey vultures circling in the sky. The snakes on the roads. The coveys of quail flushing. The changes in weather from the beaches to the mountains. There are so many things that I enjoy from cycling and most are related to the flora and fauna. There is a section up in the mountains where I ride, there are these pretty yellow flowers that are so fragrant in the spring time and early summer. The sweet smell is so worth the hard effort it takes to get up there on the bike. Like I said at the beginning, I am extremely fortunate to be able to ride my bike here in Southern California. I fortunate and grateful to be able to ride where I do.