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Daily Archives: November 21, 2014

Sometimes I Get a Little Jealous…

I read quite a few cycling blogs written by people who cycle in some beautiful places and while I do get to take some pretty great vacations in which I get plenty of time to ride, the roads I travel on a regular basis can’t be described as anything more than boring.  It’s pretty much corn fields and the occasional town.  There are no grand wharfs or cityscapes, no mountains in the distance…

A perfect example of one of the nicer places I’m talking about can be found at PedalWORKS.  On one hand, I can’t help but think riding around in that setting would be awesome…  Enough that every now and again I am a little bit envious.  How cool would it be to head out the driveway to hit the Smokey Mountains for a daily training ride?  How awesome would it be to ride regularly in a city like Vancouver (or even Grand Rapids for that matter)?

Well, this is about as good as it gets where I ride…

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There is another side to the equation though, a trade-off.  On the other hand, where I ride there isn’t a lot of traffic.  We can crank out any one of dozens of 50 to 80 mile routes on a Sunday morning and only see a dozen or two cars the whole time and they rarely have to wait to pass.  It’s not perfect of course, we’re still dealing with traffic on traffic’s terms, but if you have to be on the road (and I most definitely do), I do consider myself quite lucky in that regard.

Another bummer about southeastern Michigan is that it’s flat.  We’ve got a few 100 mile routes with a cumulative elevation gain below 2,000 feet (700 meters).  For someone who likes to climb it’s almost depressing.  I have to ride 20 miles just to get to a decent grade that takes more than a minute to climb – and that’s still just a hill.

In the end, my thoughts on where I ride being inadequate are rare and fleeting.  It stings for a second and then I remember that it could be worse, at least I can ride.  In the end, at least for me, I keep from getting bored by concentrating on the workout or the people I ride with rather than the scenery.  The truth is, my hometown has pluses and minuses when it comes to cycling as I’m sure most places do.  As with so many things in life, if I want to focus on what I don’t have I can be bored and dissatisfied.  Or I can focus on what is good about where I ride and save the scenery for vacations, where I can enjoy it a little bit more.