Whys and why nots of cycling.

Just the other day I was reading an article on common sense rules for modern road riding. It was surprising how many of these common sense rules seemed a poor fit for me. A first thought was that many of the rules seem a good way to extract pleasure from the noble pursuit.

Before going any further down this train of thought I remembered that I’m not a modern road cyclist. By that I mean I have no interest in organised competitive cycling. Nothing wrong with it but just something that has no appeal to me.

That led me to thinking about a similar disinterest I have with training programs, heart rates, meticulous maintenance and cleaning, shiny new gear, fancy clothes lines, turbo trainers and so on. The inevitable question that came up was why do I ride.

Far from being the first time I had pondered on this. It’s something I can answer as fully or succinctly as the enquiry begets. It was though the first time I connected my answer to reasons why I don’t share many of the same interests that lots of so called modern road riders seem to have.

I ride for a few reasons. In no order of preference –

  1. Pleasure and freedom derived from self-propelled independent travel
  2. Getting to explore new places
  3. Being outside
  4. Keeping fit and healthy
  5. This last ones a bonus. Not a reason but definitely something I value. The occasional feeling of overwhelming euphoria I get whilst cycling. This always comes up and hits me by surprise.

Sure I can enjoy riding fast. There is delight in the chase and overtake. It’s not a driving ambition though. There’s plenty of others faster than me. I’m OK with that. Fancy clothes and expensive machines I can appreciate. They don’t however hold any importance to me. Not sure I could ever muster an interest in cycling indoors or heart rates but I hold no disdain for those for whom it does. Maintenance and cleaning are simply to keep the bike on the road.

These are all means to an end for me. The end is about getting outside and cycling on my bicycle. That’s why I ride. Why do you?

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