I have another Century to ride tomorrow, will probably do it on my track bike for fun, but I have no desire to finish out the WORS series or even do my first CX race. The funny thing is, I don’t care. And, I don’t care that I don’t care. 4,000 miles of riding/training and I’m ready to just ride my bike because I enjoy it. What a revelation.
I think it really sank in on the 4th day of the Windy 500, our 4th day in a row of 120+ miles. Thanks to my friend Mark calling me out, I finally realized that was still training. This is a ride that I dreamed up, specifically to get out and ride for fun with friends, and after 3 days I was still dropping people. Friends. Who were just riding for the sake of riding. Although they weren’t saying it out loud, I know they were thinking: “…what a dick!“. Of course, I was oblivious to the whole thing – too concerned about the next Strava KOM, or how many more miles we could go without a rest stop.
It seems that September is always the time of year that I get tired of “training”. Maybe it’s because I’m not training toward anything, I’m training away from stuff. My biggest goal of 2012 was to be a “super-domestique” at ToAD. Mission accomplished. I moved up to singlespeed Comp at WORS, but I was so focused on ToAD that all I want to do this year is ride road bikes. At first I was bummed, but then I realized… who cares? Bikes are bikes. Riding is riding.
In years past, I don’t think I ever “got it”. I don’t think I ever made the connection. There’s riding and there’s training, and you CAN have it both ways. As I mentioned to another friend of mine, I was a late bloomer. I’ve always ridden bikes, but I was never competitive until a couple of years ago. So maybe I don’t have that history of being fast or racing to fall back on, I’m still building my resume. Maybe that’s why I feel like I can’t let off the gas sometimes. And maybe that’s why some people might think “…what a dick!”.
All I can say is: I’m sorry. I get it now. I get the “Crappy Bike Ride” and I get how Ronsta can crush it at WORS and then go out and do social rides in Waukesha with the same level of enjoyment. I get how Russell can race track and commute to work on a 3 speed with a giant basket on the front and not see the difference.
I’m not the fastest guy out there, but I try really hard. Maybe it’s time to be the slowest guy out there for a change.