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A Simple Bike Ride can make it all Worthwhile


April 2017

We had enough in our group yesterday that I didn’t bother counting.  It was a lot.

Starting out it was a wonderful 50 degrees (10C) as people started showing up.  I’d gotten the grass cut on Saturday so the yard was looking quite good… and I was thankful because my driveway started filling up about 20 minutes to 9.  Then my yard along the road.  Then three more rode over.

We rolled at two minutes after nine, not a cloud in the sky and with only a mild breeze.  It was a day made for cycling and I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face.

I could go on forever about the ride, it was that awesome.  It was also quite fast for April (49 miles, 19.3 mph average) and I really didn’t have to spend all that much time up front till we got to the last fifteen miles.

I went through some interesting thoughts on this ride that I believe are important and I wanted to share them.  They’re a bit of a change in heart.

First, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I want to ride with the A guys this year.  Do I want to be one of the slower A guys or one of the fastest B guys?  I’d bet you can guess which would be more attractive but maybe not why.

I love going fast and I’ve been trying to get fast enough to ride with the A guys for six years now.  However, the A guys turn every ride they do into a sufferfest race.  We B guys, on the other hand, ride hard but a few miles an hour slower – not too fast to be able to talk and laugh through much of the ride.  There’s so much more fellowship in our B group.  Staying with the B group means riding with my friends and wife and being able to enjoy a vastly rewarding fellowship.  Riding with the A guys means I’ll go fast.  Real fast – and it would hurt.

Second, up until this year I thought all I wanted was to go fast.  I was sure of it.  Right up until I got fast enough to jump groups.  Go figure.  After all of that BS about “it doesn’t get any easier, you just go faster”, I’ve discovered the one thing that beats being fast:  Being happy.

The important aspect to all of this is that, while being fast plays a part in my happiness, riding with my friends and simply having a good time is what makes all of the work, bill paying, and the hum-drum of normal everyday life fun.  That’s really what matters most.

The weekly wrap-up:  211 Miles, 12,557 calories burned (give or take), 11 hours 15 minutes (give or take).  Average pace 18-3/4 mph


  1. heavyman927 says:

    One thing I have also found is that where I finish in the group effects how I feel. If my pace and effort were exactly the same in a race, I “feel” so much better if I’m first rather than last. Even with the same effort, if I’m last it feels like i struggled but if I had the same finishing time and I was first, well, something happens and I’m not half as tired. Funny how that works.

  2. Couldn’t agree more! Nice post. 🙂

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    Jim I want to stand up and cheer reading this post of yours. For me being happy on the bike has long been the key. I think it also inspires many others to get on a bike and know you don’t have to be fast to enjoy cycling. there is room for all riders out in this big world. Bravo I say!

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