Tuesday, 22 February 2011

When did it become so complicated

Or maybe I should be asking, Why did it get so complicated?

I started out with a Giant Avail, just to see how I liked riding, turns out its pretty brilliant, so I treated myself to my shiny carbon Roubaix with aspirations of fabulous summer rides with friends, good cake stops and maybe even a few beers.

Its not quite like that is it.

I am lucky to live in such a beautiful area of England, just at the edge of the Lakes and beautiful scenery only 10 min by bike away. But living in the Lake District also has its challenges. Its not the easiest place when new to riding. Getting up the hills is just as much a mental strength then a physical one and Im not to good at either, to be honest.

And then theres the fabulous summer rides. Do I have to remind you of where I live again? Rain, rain, rain, rain,rain, rain,, oh and guess what? Yep, you've guessed it, rain. We still go out, in between showers and hope we stay dry, but its not the picture I had originally painted.

And then there's the question of fitness. I really thought I would be riding for a few months and feel the benefit, not feel like I was going backwards. One step forward, 100 steps back. But no one else I ride with has this issue, hence I get even more frustrated with myself, especially when I really want to catch up and be able to ride beside them, not behind.

So Im really trying to prepare myself for this summer, trying to get some good rides in, and throwing in a few climbs so I can ride with my friends this summer and enjoy myself. I even considered entering a few sportives just to test my fitness and give me a challenge, as well as something to work towards. (After today's, twitter conversation, I may now actually be put off taking part in any sportives)

But Im beginning to wonder when it stopped being about riding, when I started getting to the point where Im brought to tears because I couldn't get up a climb, or my average speed isnt as fast as I wanted it too. Maybe it was at the same time that a sportive became a race, and doing 25 miles wasn't really a ride. When did it become so complicated???


  1. Sounds like you need to kick back a bit, stop worrying about how fast/slow you are and try to rediscover what made biking so much fun for you in the first place. Maybe ditch the cycle computer, ride for smiles not miles.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Jen, take from riding what you will. Ignore others. Some people do it for the numbers. Some people for the sheer enjoyment. Some people do it for both. I think I fall into the latter. I still like to think I do it for the pleasure. I am never happier than when out on two wheels, riding a local country lane under a blue sky. This is my fix. However I'm also always trying to set myself goals, for the satisfaction of achieving the goals. I've done Sportives, and found them very enjoyable. Sure, on those some are out for the race, but when I've done them, I've found a group of similar ability and rode together. They are a great way of sharing a day riding with others :) You could always enter them, and ignore the times if you're worried. MrsGreyPea is entering her first this summer, and she has already stated she's not interested in times, just to get around in one piece :)

    Enjoy your riding x

  4. I'll second the Pea!
    sportives and the like are personal. I ride them for training when I'm heading for a big event but also for days out with like minded mates (though for these I'm inclined to be cheeky and wait round the corner, not pay and not use the food stops, £30-40 for riding round in a circle is a bit much).
    There wil always be someone faster than you and i think you'll be pleasantly surprised that there will be plenty of people behind you too.

    I get women asking me how long it takes me to do this that or the other...often I don't know as I don't use a speedo...I'll put one on for a race but thats about pacing for triathlon.

    We've set up a cycling club for women to hopefully dispel what you're experiencing and to make cycling accessable and fun. Not everybody races.

    There's no need to compare yourself to others. just enjoy your cycling and fitness will come along hand in hand with it.

    Please do come along to one of the Mills CC rides and see for yourself that there is more to cycling than racing. there's a huge social aspect too.

    sign onto the forum and you'll know whats happening


    and don't worry it will stop raining!


  5. p,s. its Emma not Ali...its the only way I could post!

  6. Don't forget, in the winter, you always ride slower than in the summer so there's no point in comparing your summer performances with your winter performances.
    In a few weeks, the weather will (hopefully) start to improve, all your worries will have been forgotten and you'll be storming up those hill :)