Hey, you been riding much?
This is a standard question in the cycling world. We don’t often ask about your work, or your kids, but we’re always curious about how often you get to do what you love, ride bikes.
Speaking for me, I always hope the answer is “Lots.” Who doesn’t want to see their friends maximize their fun factor?
For each rider, that “Lots” answer is relative. I was asked a few weeks back if I was riding much, and my answer was “No, only three times a week.”. A few days later I asked the question of a buddy I hadn’t seen in a while and he said “Oh yeah, I’m getting out twice every week lately.”
I was a little envious of his answer. I think many of us get hooked on riding and when we manage to get in ‘Lots” of riding it soon becomes expected. Then we’re searching for one more ride to add in to the mix. No matter if you ride once per week or manage to get out five days a week, we always wish we could squeeze in one more ride.
I used to get out twice a week back in the day in the off season and maybe three times during the summer. This seemed like lots of riding and was enough to keep my skill level up and my fitness acceptable. Then I started training for a seven day race where riding six days a week became the norm for half a year. I remember during my scheduled rest weeks when I only had to ride 8-10 hours over four days, wondering how I would fill the rest of my time. It was actually hard to stay off the bike.
The day after I completed the seven day race, I got up, and instead of feeling relief that I wasn’t forced to climb out of bed and throw a leg over my bike, I snuck out and spun around Whistler for 90 minutes.
There have been a few weeks where I managed to ride every day, and then I figured out how to do a big ride with friends on Sunday morning, with a smaller family ride in the afternoon. Or commute to work, then ride the trails at night. Imagine eight rides per week, I wonder if there is time for nine?
You might be thinking I sound spoiled, but this is normal in my world. I have a buddy who retired two years ago and when I asked him what he’ll do with all the spare time. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said “Ride more.” He now rides all summer in Squamish and all winter in California.
You may think this sounds like an addiction. You are probably right, but I have met a handful of 70 year old’s who ride everyday, and they are healthier and happier than most 40 year old’s I have met who don’t ride. Who knows, maybe excessive riding is the fountain of youth?
These days with kids and work, it is tough to get in enough riding to satisfy my “Lots” expectation. I’ll often squeeze in another hour on a ride, attempt an extra challenging climb, or hit one more great trail before turning towards home. It’s just enough to hold off withdrawal symptoms for a few days.
It’s probably going to be a while before most of us can ride in BC all summer and down south all winter. So whether you ride once a week, or three times a week, try to make the best of every ride. Quality over quantity can go a long way towards keeping your ‘Lots” attainable.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…