But first… here’s a link to my Pedal The Cause donation page. Please donate. The charity is for pediatric cancer and 100% of ALL donations go straight to the source.
But wait, there’s MORE!
For every $10 you donate you get one chance in a drawing to WIN some amazing prizes!
Check it out and forward it to all your friends and family!
Okay, now onto the post…
Why we ride. Some ride for charity. Some for competition. Some for fitness. Some for pleasure. And some of us ride for a combo of those reasons.
I started riding for fitness, then rode for pleasure, then competition. I compete with myself mostly, via Strava, though I do love taking down little Joey Choo-Choo when I can.
Each day is different for me. There are certainly days when I ride strictly because I want to feel fit, or get fit, or want to counter-act some dandy eating I did the night before… or week before.
Then there are days when I ride for competition. To see how many Strava PR’s I can get, or KOM’s (I have but one), or little stupid trophies by my name, or the best — topping the time of someone I know.
I also tend to ride for maximum Max Speed on these days. And maximum average speed. And maximum cadence, etc., etc.
I ride now and then for charity. Like Pedal The Cause above. Or Tour de Cure, or Bike The Drive. Charity rides are awesome because there is always an inherent goodwill in the air. Humans out together doing something fun to help other humans.
Then there are my favorite riding days… the ones where I ride just for the pleasure of riding. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s being outdoors regardless of weather, maybe it’s seeing a new part of the world, maybe it’s riding with a friend or group of friends. Maybe it’s riding with a group of strangers. Or a combo of these.
I have referred to these rides on this blog as “Rapha Rides.” Those of you that have been around here a while know why. You newbies can look it up. Basically, it’s a ride in which you have no set destination nor mileage nor time when you start. You just know you’re going for a ride.
The ride may be hard or easy, long or short, hilly or flat. Who knows. It just all depends on the moment. Photos are usually involved.
While these are my favorite rides, I had noticed that they weren’t the majority of my rides. They were there every so often, but generally I had a route or distance or specific ride in mind when I clipped in and rolled away from the house.
That’s changed. I’ve had a myriad of changes in my life this year. Divorce, extreme weight loss, and a couple other things. One of the many things these changes have done for me is open my eyes to things I may have taken for granted. Things my grandmother used to try to teach me about, but I was too young (read dumb) to get it. She used to say:
“Somewhere there is someone praying for the very things we are taking for granted.”
Grandma knew what time it was.
I’ve been very blessed this year, some truly amazing gifts have come into my life, and I might just be happier than I’ve ever been as an adult. So why not ride like that? Thus, my last few rides (and the next few coming up) have all been “Rapha rides.”
Distances from 15 to 49 miles… elevation gains from less than 200 feet to over 3,000. Average speeds from 15.6 to 18.1. Just riding for the love of riding. Enjoying the outdoors, the physical exertion, the friends, and most of all — the bike.
I even Live Tweeted during my ride this morning… that was interesting. If you have Twitter, check it out. Kinda funny.
Today’s post is to encourage you to not just donate to help kids fighting cancer, but to remember why you love riding so much that you actually read blogs about other people’s rides! Then go on a Rapha ride. Just ride to ride. Go hard as Hell, or slow as snails; go 5 miles or 150 miles. Climb every hill you can find or avoid every speed bump.
Just ride. And enjoy the ride. And be thankful you’re healthy enough to be able to ride.
The bottom of the post has some random photos from my recent Rapha rides… enjoy.
And drop a comment telling me what your favorite type of ride is and why.
Time Trial anyone?…
My son loves this self-portrait I snapped…
Zooom! My new Team Garmin helmet is Boss…
Elk Grove ain’t called Elk Grove for nothing…
I have scientific proof now; white shoes is faster than black shoes (note the Lion of Flanders socks)…
One reason why I love (and hate) riding in MO: Rollers…
This is where I turned around…
Why Bikes Rule…
Ride your bike.
Enjoy the ride.
Fair winds and following seas, Willy