I was working on another post when, just by happenstance, I stumbled onto something big. The real reason I can ride as fast as I do. Now, please don’t misconstrue that statement – I am faster than the average cyclist, but I’m not all that fast.
Beyond the pedaling tips, pedal in a circle, scrape mud, pull on the backstroke, high cadence… Beyond the nutrition (which is absolutely critical to cycling with any speed btw)… Beyond the training tips, Attack the hills, intervals… Beyond the bike and the gear. Beyond the daily rides and the workout schedule…
All of that stuff is great, most of it a necessity, but there’s one thing missing in all of that stuff one thing left out of the equation. Want to. All of this time, it was right under my nose:
I can ride faster than most because my enjoyment of cycling is the sheer childish pleasure of going fast.
The enjoyment of speed is a driving force greater than any mental whip I can use to drive my legs just a little harder. The enjoyment of the sport explains all of the toys, the expensive bikes, the wheels, the weight weenie measures, the matching kit and the incessant drive to push that bike just a little faster.
I love going fast because it makes me feel like a kid.
We’ve all heard the axiom that living life through a child’s eyes is a goal to seek out. That this joy, this zest for life, should be cultivated – nurtured even. Being fast, taking corners in the drops, at top speed, climbing hills and mountains at speeds that would make others puke, riding with a dozen friends who feel the exact same way, with form, grace and precision, in an aerodynamic double pace-line to push ourselves as a group to greater heights that we could accomplish by ourselves, makes me see the world as a kid does – with glossy-eyed delight. Every. Single. Day.
This also explains why I will eventually plateau as well. Eventually, once the training reaches an intensity that is no longer fun, where it breaks my delicate life balance and intrudes on the extension of my youth, my enthusiasm – the second it becomes work, I will push no further. That wide-eyed love of cycling is the most important thing I can preserve for one simple reason: It makes me happy.
This is why I can ride fast. This is my secret.