The 2013.11.17 Monday Night Ride at Tranquility Park got me thinking about how we ride bikes. I worked the afternoon building a couple kids bikes. Instead of bringing a change of clothes for the MNR, I wore blue jeans, t-shirt, and wind shell for a singletrack night ride with temps in the 40's.
Clear night sky, no wind, casual pace. While we can't control the weather, we can control how hard we ride. Using the low 36x22 gear from the Bike Bash ride at Platte River State Park a couple days earlier, this made the spinning at Tranquility very easy compared to my usual 36x18. Slow cadence, easy spin, slow speed reminded me of Sunday afternoon drives before bikes.
Compared to rides with my bike specific clothes, more effort, faster speed - why do I often treat riding like a race? Probably because my initial motivation to start riding 10 years ago was to loose weight and get into shape. The time on cement trails away from cars, and dirt trails away from man-made structures, did increase my physical fitness and rejuvenate my spirit. Those fitness rides made me faster, so why not extend the logic to see how fit I could get, how good I would feel, how fast I could go?
For sustainability and cost reasons, I am motivated to use my bike to replace the car. Using regular clothes, at an easy pace, enjoying the roses. Thinking about the space and time between home, vocation, retail, avocation, enrichment; what if I allotted more time to travel the space between my destinations by bike in order to be rejuvenated throughout the day? Is the space-time between my destinations too large to be feasible? Motivation is the most important catalyst for solving problems.
Over time, motivations and abilities change. Regardless of whether I'm in race mode, or taking time to smell the roses, a bike helps us enjoy the ride we call life.
Enjoy the ride!