I went on the Sunday ride today and it was “interesting” on reflection.
I lead the ride but when BP, the store owner, joins us he seems to end up in the lead. I am good with that. He is a stronger rider and I enjoy his company and I learn from riding with him.
Today we went out a little faster than typical and we kept the pace up for the better part of the 28.4 miles we rode. Our average, including two longer than typical stops, was 17 miles per hour.
When I ride by alone I challenge myself but when I ride with the group on Sundays I try to maintain a moderate pace because the group tends to have some beginner riders and we want to encourage their participation, not bury them.
Today the group was mostly experienced and strong riders and we went out strong.
It was great.
I set nine personal records for segments of the ride, several of them by more than two miles per hour over my previous best (I dig Strava).
So now, being the person I am, I am looking at this in the context of my life since I lost the weight and started cycling again in earnest.
When I was a young rider I relied on brute strength to do everything on a bicycle. No one ever taught me about gear selection so I just powered my way around. I built up stupid strong legs.
As an older rider I have had to learn technique. BP, NP and KE have all helped me a great deal.
I ride better today than I did last year. Or two years ago certainly. The thing that I am surprised by is that I ride better today than I did 25 years ago. I am faster. I am stronger. I can ride further.
I am getting better on the hills. Still not all that strong but I am getting better. I choose routes that force me to do hills. You will not get better hoping to get better. You get better (at anything) by hard work, concentrated effort, desire and determination.
I lost weight when I gave up hope. I lost weight by hard work. I keep it off with hard work.
Greg LeMond said that it never gets easier, you just go faster.
That is life.
These are the changes. Nothing creates success like hard work.
Riding better and losing weight have something in common for me. They both are easier with support and challenges.