Rediscovering Joy

19 Apr

P1070061.jpgThe day was more than half over before I got out to ride, but all the better because the wind had died down. Today’s route was shorter, but more hilly.

Toward the end I was getting tired and dreading the next hill, but instead I thought to myself, “just slow down and pedal easy”.  Granted I wasn’t going fast, but my mind was pushing me to pick up speed before the next ascent. Just that thought of slowing down shifted my focus. Instead of grinding up as hard as I could I eased up and focused on pedaling circles. Next thing I knew I was cresting it and heading down the other side.

I realized then my cycling would be better served if I focused on the techniques of cycling, more than the miles ridden and average speed. My shift in thought immediately made me less centered on the work of riding and more on my experience of riding. You can’t measure the technique of pedaling circles, you don’t push harder to pedal circles, you just think about spinning the pedals.

A different way to measure and track my rides would help. Something that centers on the quality of the ride and not my miles or speed or the feet of ascent climbed. To make a shift so I can have more joy while riding I really believe it will require less focus on the numeric statistics of riding. Probably means not wearing my heart rate monitor or using my Garmin 510. That would definitely be different.

The experience I’m looking for again is that feeling of losing myself in the ride: where there is no separation from me, my bike, the road, the wind, the sounds. Lost in the experience, yet keenly aware of my surroundings, obviously.

How does one measure cycling enjoyment; by how many bugs you swallow or find in your teeth from all that smiling? By leaving the Garmin at home and scoring the ride based on fun had?

What do you think?

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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