I’ve been riding every day for the better part of four years now. I took 21 days off all of last year. I went more than a month without a day off several times, and managed to average 29 miles a day when I did ride.
For a working fella, there’s a trick to riding every day. I had to acquire an off button. Technically, this off button doesn’t shut me down, it shuts the voice in my melon that wants to push it every single day I ride. My first three years riding, I didn’t know any better so I pushed it almost every day until my legs were smoked. Then I’d take a day or two off. I worked in scheduled days off, too, because everyone said I had to take time off to realize my fitness goals. I didn’t like that much at all – cycling was my way to clear my head and refocus on why I love life so much. I wanted to ride every day for that benefit alone.
Eventually, as I grew into the sport, I learned that it was okay to take an easy day on a regular basis. Self-knowledge is about as useful as toilet paper in the next stall, though. I had to train myself to be okay with sitting up and enjoying a ride now and again if I wanted to ride daily without over-training.
So, for me, that voice says that if I feel good, if my legs feel alright, then I should take the opportunity of being out on a ride as an opportunity to increase my strength, stamina, and fitness by pushing it a little bit. For years I didn’t even know I should shut that down and I ended up with over-training issues and even a couple of minor overuse injuries. Once I learned that I could ride every day, pain-free and without repercussions, if I simply told that voice to sit down and shut up, my level of enjoyment increased exponentially.
As in recovery, riding is more about managing my melon than my legs.
And that’s my secret to a happy bike ride. Fast, or my approximation of slow.
Ride hard, my friends. And enjoy the ride; most aren’t lucky enough to know the joy of riding a bicycle or running.