I sometimes wonder how I can keep riding bikes. I mean, I still love it. I still very regularly find that stupid grin blooming across my stupid face. But it’s been a long time, more than 40 years, and bike riding isn’t that complex an endeavor, is it?
This last week I have been skiing with my kids. They are better skiers than I am, or at least, they are much faster skiers than I am. I can just about keep up, but it puts me at my limit. The thing is, I think they’re on their limits too. This is what they think is fun. And it is. But it’s maybe not the only thing that’s fun.
I just like to cruise around in the woods. That’s a thing you can do on skis or a thing you can do on a bike. Sometimes I even just cruise around on the road. Aimlessness feels like a real indulgence the older I get. Exploration is still the same gift it was when I was 7 years-old, and the next street over might as well have been the dark side of the moon.
Sure, when I was younger, I thrashed around in boredom. I wanted to jump off things (still do actually). I sometimes had to be getting fully rad to maintain an interest, either hammering hard on a road ride, or finding technical lines on a trail ride. But then as I got older, I began to see the real depth in riding bikes, the limitless possibilities, the intrinsic pleasure in the simple act of pedaling and rolling. It doesn’t feel like a thing I can teach my kids. They maybe just have to find it for themselves.
If their ideal is 10/10 for speed, mine is probably 6. I enjoy 5/10, too. 4 is not bad. Occasionally 7 or 8, but ideally, probably 6.
This week’s TCIF asks, what’s your perfect speed? Are you a hammer, 10s all day? Or a cruiser, 3-4, sometimes 5?
I’m all over the place. Aggro group rides are always a 10, riding with friends can vary from 5-9, and recovery is 3. I enjoy it all, but in particular, recovery because that is when you can simply see the sites and wander.
Please, don’t confuse a fast skier with a good skier. I’m guessing you’re already aware of that. Too often on a groomed trail, I’ll get passed by kids tear-assing down doing figure 11’s. When I’m doing wide GS turns, these idiots have no control and can easily hit me. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder. So muh for yelling at clouds…..
Anyways……..speed? Ha! Actually, “slow” is a speed.
Coming from a guy who has watched his average speed decline for decades.
Dan, I certainly don’t confuse what my kids do with “good skiing,” but they seem to have fun, so… We’re all getting slower, but that goes along with getting wiser, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
I’m a cruiser. A good pace that I can hold for several hours is golden to me. All the better if I’m gasping for air up some torture chamber hill climb.
I rarely just pedal a slow chill. But sometimes.
As for 10 on my personal scale of 10, that’s as rare as the slow chill.