I need stoke!

13 05 2012

That’s what I am talking about….=-)

I had reasonably firm plans to ride a my longest distance ever this weekend. I had a GPS route loaded. My bike was tuned and mostly packed. The weather looked awesome. I had the time off from any other commitments to do it. I am as fit as I have ever been in recent years. I had little doubt I could complete the ride.

But, despite all that I bailed on the ride during the last 24hrs before departure.

I could give you a long list of reasons why this happened and I think they are all valid, but the bottom line for me is I ride my bikes because I like doing it. Sometimes the rides are hard and I am not having fun every second, but under the suffering deep down there is a part of me that’s still happy to be on my bike.

On this occasion I lost that stoke. Without it the whole point of riding is lost to me.

I could have made myself do the ride and hoped to get into it at some point along the way. But, I have a really, really, really hard time rationalizing that when the ride would take up my whole weekend and served no useful purpose other than for the sake of some arbitrary achievement.

Instead I slept in Saturday morning. Had a leisurely breakfast. Surfed the web and wrote this post. My mountain biking gear is packed and in an hour or so we’ll head out to the trails for a ride. After the ride we’ll pick up a few supplies we need to start building up Sharon’s purple Pugsley. Game 7 of the NY-DC NHL playoffs is tonight. We’ll probably go mountain biking tomorrow as well and have a backyard BBQ afterwards.

I’m stoked about all of that!

Now none of this is to say that a challenging ride is a bad thing nor is it to say I won’t be lining up for a big adventure down the road. However, when I do you’ll know it’s because I’m excited to be on my bike.



4 responses

13 05 2012

I hear you Vik. I’ve been far more stoked about out little ones (4yo and 10 months) and family time, expanding the garden, and riding when I feel like it for fun, than keeping up on long riding.

Just the mood this year?
Was jealous of our 200k riders yesterday – but I had fun pulling the trailer on the Pugsley to the finish hauling food / water / pizzas!

13 05 2012

@Mike – I learned something interesting about my relationship to long distance rides this week. Typically I don’t do any real training between brevets so I have 2-3 weeks between events to do my own thing and rest. That means I’m not going to be in peak shape for the next event, but it does mean I am fairly hungry to spend a whole day in the saddle.

This week I did a 12hr/170km dirt/bikepacking ride [not fully intentionally!] and I thought the extra training might help, but what it did was suck up any motivation to spend a whole day on my bike later in the week.

That itch felt thoroughly scratched and without that stoke my interest evaporated.

14 05 2012
Mike Lodewyk

Hey Vic! Your post definitely resonated with me!! I had to laugh! This weekend consisted of a buddy and I taking our boys, ages 11, 9, and 2 6 year olds, out in the trees and trails of Red Deer. Saturday was smiles, and laughter, tears and meltdowns, wipeouts, and “I made it Dad!!”‘s, and then some BBQ. Sunday was the same, but with the momoms along, enjoying the Alberta sunshine. More laughs, more meltdowns, more BBQ. KM’s, under 20, fun factor, off the scale!
Yes, I enjoy a planned day of mountains and riding, but to see my children learning to ride and becoming bike lovers like me is truly awesome! I am teaching them to ride for enjoyment, and hope this will carry on thru their lives, like it has mine!
Thanks for putting into words the reason so many of us ride! All the best! Mike

15 05 2012

I hear ya, Vik. I baled on a small bike tour a few years back. Even though I knew I could do it, and if I started riding I’d probably get into the mood at some point. But my mind was elsewhere, and the weather forecast promised suckitude. I did start on the way, and in 10 miles I got a flat. I took that as a sign, fixed flat, and scrubbed tour.

It’s good to know limits.

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