This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The obsession with speedlessness

Although the club ride I attended last weekend was nice and it was exhilarating to get back on my road bike for a brief moment,  I am finding less and less reason for speed.. Recently as a club rider was looking at the history of  his time trials, he said, "The older I get, the faster I was!"  I suppose we get slower naturally but I think there is a different priority  and we  become less competitive as we ... ah, mature. 
 Saturday the lead group went out rapidly with a grand pretend race in mind intending to average 18-19 mph,  I held back with a few who had no intentions but to enjoy the ride.  We never became so breathless that we stopped talking. The day was beautiful and the conversation brisk even if our pace was not.  We finished the 22 mile ride comfortably within 1 1/2 hours, the "faster" group started stragglin in from 37 miles 35 to 40 minutes later.  The math says it all.  They worked at gaining 1 1/2 to 2 mph and many arrived disappointed with their performance.  That's the way it is.  I was talking to a friend on a recent charity ride and told him my years of touring and commuting have ingrained a style which gets me to the finish with plenty "left in the tank."  Most of the club riders I know have trained themselves to leave everything on the pavement in a two hour run.  I like doing that, it makes me pay attention to speed, but it is not the be all, end all of riding to me.
I'd rather take the time to examine this lovely piece of 
 chainsaw yard art
than meet an arbitrary time goal.  On many charity rides, I'll ride a metric century.  That gives me plenty of time to enjoy the day and meet a lot of people on the way.  Many of the people I meet are spandex hamsters who take off from the start with a blood boiling passion.  I am usually passing several after the 2nd or 3rd SAG stop.  I've had a few ride up to me from behind and ask "Do you just keep going, don't you stop?"
Of course I do.
When there is something interesting to see,
like a blooming field of flowers with streetsigns for navigation.
But not really to rest.
Rest is for the wussys who left it all on the pavement hours before in some vainglorious attempt 
to reach an arbitrary goal recorded on their computer.

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