Before I started this blog, I wrote an essay titled “On Not Riding 100 Miles“. It was my defense for not striving to complete the coveted century ride. I realized that it is OKAY to not want to do a century. And it was therapeutic for me to write that.
And then I realized that the day I rode 85 miles, 85 miles was just about all I could’ve possibly ridden. At the end there was no way I could’ve entertained riding just 15 more miles; I’m quite sure I glared at my spouse when he suggested I could do it. I had to admit that my choice to not ride 100 miles was influenced by the *fact* that the century was just a little beyond my physical abilities that day.
Fast forward to this year, and my issues with trying to ride with a group who, simply put, goes faster than I can. Those folks make me really angry! How dare they leave me behind! I don’t *want* to go faster, faster, faster all the time. I like to observe the scenery, and carry on conversations, and just enjoy life by bike.
But the day I got dropped from a ride because I was too slow, I had to admit that, hey, I simply cannot ride as fast as those folks. Grant Petersen & others claim that for every 12 lbs of weight you lose, you can ride 1 mph faster. And guess what, I carry a few multiples of 12 pounds of extra weight. It is hard for me to admit that I could probably ride much faster if I lost some weight. Losing weight is hard! I can do it, and I have done it, but it takes a very concentrated effort and amount of mental energy that can wear me out when I’m also trying to do so many other things like train for RAGBRAI, improve my 5K time, work full time, cook dinner, feed my cats, water the garden, etc., etc.
So I just work on getting stronger as a Rubenesque cyclist, with or without weight loss.
But I have a feeling that even if I lost a bunch of weight and could go faster, I still might not enjoy riding with folks who are more intent on performance than enjoyment.