I came to the realisation, finally, in the past couple of weeks that what I want from cycling is to enjoy it. I blogged last summer about giving up racing. About defining myself only as a racer. And then I started racing again. It’s a drug that I can’t give up.
But it’s not everything. And so I’ve become a cyclist. What’s the difference?
Well, for the past 5 years all I’ve done on the bike is race, or train to race. I love training, probably more than racing, but after a while it becomes a process. The fun goes out of it. Every ride is about watts and measured effort. It’s never just pedaling, taking in the scenery, sprinting for signs, coffee, cake, laughs, banter. I’ve been doing it wrong.
Rapha capture it well in their Rapha Continental manifesto. Simply, it’s about enjoying the ride for what it is. The people, the places, the experiences.
So I’m a cyclist now. I’ll race, I’ll train hard, but sometimes I’ll just ride for the love of it. No power meter. No heart rate monitor. No computer. No data uploads & analysis. No Strava. Just me, my bike, and the road.
I’ve finally made sense of it all.