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?