Good cyclist, bad blogger
I’ve been slacking in my blogging duties, but for a great many good reasons. Paramount is that I’ve been riding my bike, which — let’s face it — is the entire point, right?
I joined the May Massive on Strava, a simple little contest where you just ride as much as you can in the month of May. I’ve been trying to ride 100 miles a week but in truth, I keep hovering around 70. Last week I managed more than 90. This week, the rains came, and I’m not going to come out with a big number. Not that it’s about numbers.
I easily get caught up with being competitive, even when I have no business pretending that I can compete. And I shouldn’t compete with friends (even ones I’ve never met on Strava), but in my head, I’m seeing their numbers and thinking, “I need to ride more than 100 miles this week, because she did, and she did, and he did, and he’s already banked 200 miles this week.” This is just who I am, when I’m alone in my head. Then I snap out of it and have a chat with myself and remind myself that I’m doing this for fun.
Fun. Remember that? Well I should. And I should try for more. I’ve been riding a ton the last 2 years, a ton for me anyway. I’ve grown really dependent on the maintenance high that frequent cycling has given me. It’s the best stress management and mood manager ever (not that I’m <ahem> moody. No, not me). So no matter how my ride starts, it almost always ends with me feeling less burdened, more carefree, and with better coping skills. This has been especially helpful to me this year, as it has been a tougher one for me as far as years go. I think my higher brain is gently trying to remind me to keep some of the riding fun so that this quality is not lost. It is really the fundamental reason that I ride. To feel good.
I’m pleased with how I’ve grown stronger on the bike, too. A poor climber, I always avoided hills. Now I almost always try to include them. As a result, I’ve performed better and better on these climbs, shaving minutes off segments in some cases. While I don’t think I’ll ever be fast, and am now stronger. I survive climbs better than ever now, and I recover quicker. It feels great. And while I don’t want to lose some of the performance I’ve gained, I don’t want to lose the fun either. Keeping a good balance will be important, as it is only late May, and we have a good 6 months of cycling ahead before the snows grow deep.
So sorry about neglecting my blogging duties. It’s only because we got 2 inches of rain today that you’re even reading this. And that’s a good thing. It’s the whole point.
(Note: the photo is of my son at about 6 months of age. He’s happier now that he’s old enough to actually ride a bike.)