Thursday, 11 May 2017

Breaking away, breaking up ....

Cycling is to my mind the most paradoxical sport on the planet. How so many millions of us end up choosing cycling as our 'go to' sport is a mystery and often people cite cycling for the loner, the lost and the people coming back from or riding towards something. Who knows, though the beauty of being a rider is that yes, I admit I can be a solitary soul happy in my own company but as a cyclist you are never far from a network of other riders, events and discussion.  Brilliant !

But what I have found odd and occasionally complex about cycling is that it can be one huge paradox in so many ways. First of all, performance. How can you ride like an unleashed dog one day and a drugged cat the next ? Why is it deep wheels are ultimately no faster than shallow wheels ? Why is it I am riding on the absolute rivet and yet I feel I get no faster ? How are some people hitting 3000 miles in May already and how come some people are simply just better it riding a bike than me.

Such is life. Everyone can excel at somethings, others not so. It does not mean I do not love riding a bike. The beauty is that I am at one with myself capability wise and realise that in performance terms at 45 years old I am on a downward slope though I have years of riding full gas left in the tank. Guys in their 20's, heck -even their teens have no idea how blessed they are to be riding carbon 11 speed bikes with decent wheels. The tech has come so far on and off the bike and what has occurred is frankly crazy. But, the mad thing about bicycle sales is that since the boom which I think began in 2008, the volume shifted has nothing like the impact bicycle sales in the 1930's and again 1970 through to 1973ish where millions and I mean literally millions of bikes were sold. 2008 to 2013 when the road market slowed back down is just a drop in the ocean compared to the massive volume unboxed for the buying public 1930's with social mobility and in the 1970's with cost effective bikes being churned out by the big guns before the Taiwanese conglomerates got in on the act. The new world order have been making bikes for just over 40 years. They are just babies in a strange kind of way.

Anyway, maybe, ultimately, as a person I am to self critical, self aware or self deprecating as there are millions of middle aged men up and down the land sitting on sofa's getting ill and not even realising it. I have a saying - "Live fast, die slowly or live slowly, die fast". 

Perhaps I just need to lighten up about my ability. I know I am average, hence the title of this blog. Doubtful though as at 45 that horse has bolted. In the words of De La Soul "I wish I was a little bit taller", though I change the lyrics to faster. That is the paradox of cycling, there is always a bigger fish, born to ride a bike with faster legs. Life goes on. It turns out that the fast Tuesday crew are all in the top ten on the Tuesday ride/route on Strava this year ? The route chainganged / hammered by many is frankly a little mecca locally simply due to the fact it is really about as 'flat'  as a route gets in Devon - 1800 feet over 30 miles. It really is a lumpy county.

Is that failure ? Of course not, it is a massive success and it is all about perspective. 

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