Wow! I made it to 200,000 feet of elevation during today’s ride! (With a few hundred feet to spare.) I started tracking my efforts on Strava in February and it really motivated me to simply ride more. I never had a set goal: My idea was just to ride more and to learn how to ride on hills.
From barely riding around the block to cycling almost every day, I’ve lost fat, gained muscle, met new friends and really learned better nutritional habits for my body. My mind isn’t always so stressed and I don’t revolve around cycling (my favorite topic is still food), but I do understand myself a bit better. I like being with other like minded riders, women, and like learning from them and being supportive.
I also know that it’s healthy to have riding time with my husband, alone and with others.
I’ve spoken to a lot of friends who constantly struggle with riding with significant others. Whether you are in front, behind, sometimes, things feel personal if you let them.
My husband used to ride really fast to the tops of climbs, leaving me panting and feeling alone. I would get upset and maybe push harder and burn myself out. Then, one day, he rode to the top, turned around and went back to where I was and reclimb the hill.
“Why are you doing that?” I asked him.
He replied, “If I can go faster, I don’t want to take a break and wait, that’s just lazy. I’ll use that energy and do the climb again. I rode with another guy that was faster than me and he did that.”
I thought this was great! Both he and I experienced being slower than another fellow rider, but he learned from someone who was thoughtful and considerate. Talk about learning good habits!
If I go with friends who are slower paced than me, I re-climb hills, too. Unless they have a problem with it, which I’ve asked, but no one minds. We all start somewhere and I think it’s short-sighted when faster people refuse to ride with slower people. It’s true you can’t really slow your pace significantly without a detriment to one’s training (except for a recovery ride or early technique building), but there are lessons in cycling slowly: Technique, breathing, enjoying the company of others.. potentially making great friendships.. and encouraging someone else because you are helping them push themselves. Unless you’re on a fixed gear, then you’re just off on your own, anyway! 😛 wink
We all start somewhere. 😉