It’s been a tough five or six weeks for cycling.
The trails have been mostly unrideable, the roads have not been much better and its really cold and icy.
By the time you bundle up with multiple layers and big winter gloves, then ride with white knuckles as you anticipate a heinous crash on ice, it’s hard to enjoy the ride at the same level.
So, with all this less-than-ideal weather, I have been riding less than normal and getting a bit of cabin fever. Rather than go completely crazy, I have filled my time with other activities. I have been rock climbing a bit, I went snowshoeing for the first time in years, and I took Rhyley skiing for her first time ever.
When I did manage to get some riding in, I took nothing for granted and made the best of every pedal stroke. I figure if I’m only riding periodically, it better be a high fun factor.
In the last few years, I have tried to ride at least 6,000 km per year. This has had me sacrificing a lot of things to squeeze in that much mileage. After this winter and rediscovering some other activities, I realized how many things I like to do. I love rock climbing. Skiing used to be a passion but since we opened the shop and had kids, it has been all but forgotten. Even playing squash once a week, which takes very little time, has been pushed off my schedule completely so I could ride more.
I am not complaining, I love riding my bike and I made these decisions knowingly, but now I’m rethinking things. Maybe I ride only 3,000 km this year but I make every km amazing, only the best of the best. No more squeezing in a 40 km road ride at 6 a.m. just to gain mileage when I’d rather ride 15 km of sweet single track that makes my whole week better.
With all this said, if I’m going to be completely honest with myself I have to admit that I’m torn. As nice as this new plan sounds, I don’t know how it will turn out. I like riding more than anything and putting in the extra mileage keeps me fit and feeling great, not to mention sane. It’s become such a huge part of my life that I don’t know if I can cut back.
On the other hand, now that I have had a taste of other fun sports again, I might just try to ride less, but maximize the benefits on every ride I do. The best trails, DH riding at the park and commuting on my favourite single track instead of the highway. When I do go road riding, it will be the best most scenic loops on nice sunny days. I’ll try to make every ride memorable, and at the same time, free up a pile of hours to enjoy other activities.
With the reduced pressure to ride long hours, I think I’ll enjoy my cycling even more and with the spare time I can manage to hit the squash court, the climbing gym, or maybe even the ski hill. Maybe less is more.
I think I just figured out my New Year’s resolution. Quality over quantity, with riding, with work and with my family. Its going to be a great year.
Happy New Year!
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…