I rode away from the house yesterday headed for Lookout Mountain (http://303cycling.com/Lookout-Mountain-Hill-Climb-Bike-Ride), a ride that has become one of my regular training rides over the years. This ride includes a 5-mile segment that is often raced; Tom Danielson holds the current record at just over 16 minutes. I was planning on riding that section to better my current best time of 30 minutes.
As I rode the trail towards Golden a young lady passed me going the other direction. She was in full kit, for the non-bikers reading, that’s the uniform that a bike racer wears, and went past fast enough to create a Doppler effect. Here was someone who at least rides enough to spend money on matching clothes to do it, or possibly belongs to a team. But what really caught my attention as she rode by was the smile on her face. She was clearly enjoying herself.
After she rode past I realized that I was in ‘duty’ mode. I have recently committed to race RAAM and have lately felt that my training has been lacking. I rode away from the house today as if I was headed to work. This young lady reminded me that I do this for fun! Catching the next rider on the road or recording a personal best isn't a matter of getting paid; it has nothing to do with my value as a rider. It’s just a personal challenge, the inner conversation of, “do you have it today?”
As I rounded the next corner I also began to smile.
I didn't set a personal best from pillar-to-post yesterday… but I had a great time doing it!