Bicycling is an obsession. Just ask my partner, Davey. Nearly every weekend since I started has been dedicated to riding. My diet has changed to make me more efficient, my wardrobe expenditure has shifted to nearly 100% bicycling clothing, the house is often draped in drying (but hopefully not smelly) bike clothes, my legs are usually sore (and when they’re not, I am thinking about how to make them sore).
An “easy” ride is one of 30 miles, lasting about 2 hours. A “moderate” ride is at least 60 miles with no fewer than 3 steep climbs, lasting about 4 hours. A “hard” ride is at least 70 miles, lasting 5 hours or more. I have no intention of ever competing, and, though I want to improve, I do not anticipate making money off this. Why put myself through this agony?
There is really only one answer. It is the simplest adventure one can take. Riding out from my garage on a cold morning, every ride is challenging and unique. Even when I restrict myself to known routes and known locales, there is something different to see, some different feeling you can get from the way the bike rides or the way the air smells. Different people on the trail; different obstacles to overcome; different personal demons to battle.
Though this video shows the premier competitive event, it demonstrates how bicyclists feel about their sport. The wonder of the scenery (however mundane), the thrill of meeting your goals, the exertion of running up a steep climb, or the rush of descending in 2 minutes that hill you earlier climbed in 20 minutes. That’s really it. The fun and personal challenge. That I burn thousands of calories on a ride is icing on that cake.
I think cycling makes me a better person in a way the other activities I forgo would not. I hope to be riding for many years to come.