Thursday, June 9, 2011

I feel the need: The need for SPEED!

Now, I'm not a racing cyclist. I don't consider myself an athlete. I like to think I'm athletic (despite the layer of squish that I've been sporting lately), in spirit if not in the flesh. As such, going really fast on the bike isn't one of my main goals.

Having said that, I must admit a small amount of jealousy toward the lycra-clad guys on their roadies with their massive and muscular calf muscles who insist on overtaking me during my commute every morning. I'm not jealous of the lycra, bikes or muscles: Just slightly miffed at how fast they can go.

Whether I want to or not, I do see speed as a measure of fitness and strength. I am less fast, therefore less fit and strong. Which is clear, given that I need an electric bike to get me to work and back consistently and more than twice/week. So, my lack of speed feels like failure when I compare myself to these other guys on the trail (there aren't many recreational cyclists crazy enough to tackle the hills I take to get to work).

The other advantage to fast riding is time. The less time it takes me to get to work in the morning, the more time I have for things like sleeping in, having a cooked breakfast, drinking coffee, Internetting, etc etc.  The less time I spend cycling home from work, the more time I have for, well, the same sorts of things.

As beautiful as my ride to work is (and it's pretty damned gorgeous; lakes, parks, wetlands... Beautiful!), I'd still rather spend as little time on it as possible. So while I don't keep records of my time spent commuting and don't have a Personal Best that I try to beat at every opportunity, I can't pretend that being really really fast wouldn't have me just a little bit chuffed...

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