This bit of narcissism is aimed at getting more people on bikes at interesting, challenging events. Hell, I’d like to make that my work life.
My perspective is based on accomplishment, and the beneficial feeling that overcomes a person after doing something audacious. Accomplishment is a great thing for the pysche and the confidence of an individual. Not everyone has to be a bike racer, but everyone who rides a bike would be well-served both mentally and physically if they more fully explored what they can actually do. Maximize your inner athlete, accomplish your personal epic ride even if it is just a first step, and up that epic every year or every quarter in some way. The rides I’ll list here are for the often-discussed ‘recreational rider,’ who might want to try something beyond the standard Saturday morning group ride … but if your epic is riding 10 miles, have at it and good luck!
If you’re something like me as a cyclist or perhaps a bit less intense, you’ll want to challenge yourself to do more on a very regular basis. As my racing days are mostly in the distant past, I’ve started to do all sorts of events that aren’t official races, even if they attract at least partly a racing crowd who I do not feel the need to finish with. I do, however, want to finish strong in the middle of the ‘field,’ and hopefully beat my prior performances.
Real cycling breathes with the concept that the tougher something is, the better. Getting through things where you suffer (a double metric century, maybe a triple?) makes all the regular rides easier and makes stressy work periods or health challenges more manageable.
Suffering and overcoming enhances perseverance, and the concept of grit. It’s all trendy now to look at the Swedish sisu concept, but I’m not smart enough to see how this really differs from grit. Or maybe I’m too smart to worry about such things or trying to not be elitist by using words from way far away you might not know. I am too busy doing things to talk about how international I am. Apparently the Brits have abandoned the stiff upper lip in favour of something from somewhere else that might accomplish the same benefits. It’s not American or Finnish or British, it’s universal amongst those who choose and ‘can do.’
I bet every culture has a term or word for this. Achievers of the world unite!
There was a time a few years ago when I tried to do just one event per quarter. Now, I’m aiming for one event per month. Many of these events are located on the East Coast/mid-Atlantic . I’ll be posting one or two events for each month of the year, and pasting the links below to keep it all neat and clean. Some events are quite accessible to average recreational riders wanting to step it up a bit, and all will require a bit more thought and prep in terms of the training you do and the equipment you use. At least two — one that requires a Brompton and one or two that require a Fat Bike — are really quite obscure.
Not every event is appropriate for everybody, as not everybody has a Brompton or a Fat Bike or a cross/gravel bike. Everybody should have each of these bikes of course … I think I’ve determined that everyone should have a minimum of five or six bikes. I’m only half joking.