It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to sit down and write something that’s not work related. After a year and a half without a steady day job I’m now working full time and then some. While I can appreciate the new found income I miss some of the ability to sneak off and ride.
I supposed I’m not unlike a lot of cats in my age bracket. I’ve got more responsibilities than I know how to handle and as a result my ride time has dropped to about once a week and a lot of times not even that.
Back when the word “responsible” was a pejorative term I used to describe some one else I used to take off for long solo rides a good portion of the week. I figure at one point I was riding three to five hundred miles a week at one point. As a former co-worker of mine liked to put it “I used to kick my own ass”.
Last weekend I was able to escape for a solo ride. Something I hadn’t been able to do. While I like hanging out with my riding buddies the dynamic is different because there’s always an element of competition even if no one is gassing it from the word “go”.
On a solo ride I can set my own pace. Usually it’s a lot slower than when I’m out with my buds mainly because I can’t rely on any one as a failsafe in case something goes horribly wrong.
While I ran into a host of other riders out on the trail and we exchanged pleasantries and other courtesies I was effectively on my own. I had just come out of about six weeks worth of deadlines and other external pressures and I really needed to unwind.
After a while I started to loosen up, both physically and mentally. When I first got on my bike I was fretting about my jobs, my family, and whether or not I tuned up my bike the last time I put it away. In essence I was distracted by my distractions. A couple miles into my ride I started loosening up. I began to forget about some minor failures I had lately. Nothing serious but just the kind of things you overlook when deadlines are short and demands are high.
I finished my first loop of the park I was riding in (a park, I might add that’s facing closure due to cutbacks in state funding due to budgetary cutbacks) and I felt unreasonably strong considering how little time I had spent in the saddle lately.
When I started my second loop my endorphins had really kicked in and I thought back to some of the conversations I had with some of the ultra marathon riders I had talked to not too long ago and how many of them talked about how much of riding was purely mental. I tried to keep that in mind as I felt my legs tire and as I grew out breath and my glucose levels began to drop. After a while I stopped concentrating on riding and just rode my bike. Difficult root sections dissolved under tires, tricky switchbacks were a mere inconvenience, and somehow I road better than I actually am.
My head is a lot clearer now even though it’s back to the grind.
While we’re at it I’m going to shamelessly plug my Twitter feed. You can follow me at Adam P Hunt @ HuntWMD on Twitter . Not everything is going to be bike related and not everything is going to be for every one.