It has been so long since I just went for a simple bike ride, as of late every ride I go on has been a full on push. I often ask myself why I do this, why can’t I just go on a relaxed ride, why I spend hour after hour on the turbo and what am I actually training for? Well to be honest I know the answer to the last one – I want to be stronger and faster, not in a competitive way; simply for myself. I have always pushed myself in everything I do and cycling is no exception.
But when day after day is spent sweating, hyperventilating and pushing myself to the limit it is nice to take a step back and just ride my bike casually. Juliet is the same as me, she also pushes herself to her limits and I think it creates some healthy competition…well for me anyway. If I see her on the turbo I will have to set up my bike and give it a go; even if I have done a session already.
This weekend we allowed ourselves to just go for a ride, we would stop whenever we wanted to, take in the sites, drink coffee and just enjoy the day. It has been raining non-stop for the past week, and when I say rain I don’t mean a bit of drizzle I mean full on torrential downpour. This weekend we were blessed with a few rays of sunshine, so we hopped on our track bikes and set off for a ride.
We are currently living halfway up a mountain in Italy; whilst the views are awesome the downside to every ride is the climb up the numerous switchbacks to the house; hardly a gentle warm down. The ride down is always fun whatever bikes we choose to ride. We skidded and spun our way down the hairpins of the pass to Lake Como and proceed on one of the nicest rides I have had in a long time. We stopped to take photos, take in the views, we chatted whilst riding and I was reminded that just going for a ride can be quite relaxing and doesn’t have to be all sweat and pain.
After a very pleasant few hours riding we headed home content and happy, as we approached the turn off to our house we were hit with the cruel reminder that the had to ride up a mountain pass on our track bikes to get home. Everyone always asks what gear I ride so; 48-17 is the answer to that, the climb is a bit of a grunt but makable. Juliet found it slightly more challenging as she has been riding her luxurious road bike a bit too often, she wrote a nice post about that on her blog 😉 We definitely earned the cold beers waiting for us in the fridge. I spent years working on my bike and the past few years riding as hard as I could, this ride reminded me of how fun it is just to go out for a chilled plod. Rides like these are something I definitely plan to do more of.
Photos by Juliet and myself