The case of the missing cycling mojo and the look of disbelief. Maybe I am a bit odd?

8 07 2010
Over the last few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve lost my cycling mojo. My legs have felt a bit heavy, I’m not flying up the hills and I’m stressing about the upcoming big ride. Then today whilst still wearing my cycling gear I grabbed a coffee before heading to the office for the afternoon. That’s when I had a conversation that I seem to frequently have, but today it had me reflecting. It went something like this:

“How far you cycled today?”

“oh, just from home, I live near Edgbaston cricket ground, so it’s about 7-8 miles”

“wow, that’s quite some distance!”

“Well I do it most days so I’m kind of used to it”

“So you like cycling, do you do much?”

“Ye, quite a bit”

“How far do you normally ride?”

“Well depends, anything from the 6-7 miles to work up to 50-60 miles with a local cycling club”

“Wow!”

Now they clearly get that last part, most people understand cycling 50-60 miles, even if they can’t do it themselves, then I go on to:

“but I do a lot of long rides, over 100 miles”

“That’s a long way, what’s the furthest you’ve ever gone?”

This is the question I fear being asked!

“well my furthest in one go was about 260 miles”

“that’s over a few days?”

“No, in one day”

At this point I see a slightly vacant look in their eyes. The look of disbelief. Most people clearly cannot put ‘riding a bicycle’ and ‘250 miles’ together. I think, they think I’m lying! I don’t blame them. It was only a few years ago when I had the same response.

I really don’t know what to say at this point and the conversation usually ends with me saying something about ‘getting used to it’, ‘each to their own’ and acknowledging that ‘yes, maybe I am a bit odd’. Well I may be odd, but it’s my reality.

But today it occurred to me that I need to remind myself that this is my reality and it is a bit odd! Most normal, sane people, including most of the keen cyclists I know, don’t cycle 200+ miles a day for fun. The fact that I choose too knowing that I can, clearly means that I’m doing something right, well in my version of what is right and wrong. This weekend I’m embarking on a 275 mile epic, it will be my longest ever single day ride, and despite the usual pre-ride nerves, I know I can do it and I will enjoy most of it. So in reflection maybe my cycling mojo has not headed of down the A38 on a Tandem with someone else’s and is in fact still there but just playing up a little to reminding me not to take it for granted. Point taken.

I need to be better at dealing with the up’s and downs of my cycling adventures. I might not be as quick as I would like this weekend, but I’m out there doing it, and that’s to be enjoyed, not stressed about!


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4 responses

8 07 2010
Ken Davidson

Speaking as someone who only does 4 miles a day, and can only achieve, say, 30 miles in a day, and keep this side of a shiny red butt, knackered wrists and popping knees – I stand in awe, sir.

Awe, yes, but I’ve ‘done the math’ and reckon you’re talking a ‘long’ day to do that 275 miles. I really do hope you do it in more than 8 hours 😉

8 07 2010
jamesrach

It will be a long day!

I’m doing a 300km Audax ride from Tewkesbury. Rach needs the car so I have to cycle there. 41 miles to the start approx 2.5 hours (the start is at 6am so that means leaving Brum by 3.30am). 192 miles for the Audax, approx 12 hours. I then have to ride to Aymestry near Leominster to find my bed, that’s another 42 miles, again approx 2.5 hours. Add it all up and I reckon I’m looking at around the 17 – 18 hour mark for the 275 miles including time of the bike. It will be a long day!

Of course, if I used gears it might be quicker.

8 07 2010
Ken Davidson

So, averaging around 15+ mpg. Over 18 hours.

What do you eat to manage that? 4000-6000 calories?
Your heart beat at rest must be about 40bpm 😉

Good luck to you!

8 07 2010
gillies_j_c@yahoo.com

I don’t know how many calories I eat, maybe around 200 per hour and my average moving speed over that distance is usually about 16.5-17 mph depending on hills. And yes resting heart rate is 42 pbm.

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