I used to ride bicycles with a group that was pretty serious. Some of the members had raced so knew the techniques and benefits of the peloton–riding closely, drafting well, and riding as a team. One of our routes had a stretch of road about two miles long that was a slight down-hill, and was broad with good pavement.
Almost by instinct the group knew this was the place to strongly focus on drafting skills and go really fast–the leader just pulling for a few seconds so they could sprint hard, then fall off to the back to rest in the draft. When it was my turn to pull every fiber of my muscles and lungs was burning.
I loved it.
The feeling of riding faster than I could on my own, the cohesive energy of the group, and the buzz of the chainrings was really exhilarating.
We rode that stretch fast, really fast for a “flat.” One day after a particularly good run, the group had stopped and was catching their breath before the next section, grinning but not able to talk.
Then the group philosopher, Michael, said, “Riding bikes is fun. Riding bikes fast is REALLY fun.” He nailed it. In 9 words he summed up why we rode.
Years later I still think of those words as I watch amazing athletes on TV, or ride my bike, or just encourage myself to fit a workout into a busy schedule. And I think of it when I am feeling lazy about writing Over the Hump, or don’t want to work late on a project, or have that challenging conversation. The times in my life when I have pushed to ride fast are almost always rewarding, and sometimes exhilarating.
Our human bodies and psyches are not meant to work hard all the time, however it’s those times of riding fast that often motivates us to do it again. More important–it’s FUN!
Like everything in life, there are many facets to riding fast, which we get to choose for ourselves! What about you? How will you choose to ride fast this week?
My best wishes for an fast day and week. See you next Wednesday!