Inspiration: Why Do You Ride?

After looking at my 2015 Ride Numbers, I've had a fair few people question "why do you ride so much?" It got me thinking. Having done close to 1000 hours in the saddle last year, what are the real motivating forces, which keep me turning the pedals, day after day.

After much thought, I'm going to try and put them into words...


The Great Outdoors

That feeling of fresh air, flowing through your lungs and filling your blood with new life, it is unparalleled in how refreshing it is. The feeling of looking out over a vista, at the top of a hard climb, is unique in how it takes your breath away.



Headspace

Quiet is a rarity in our everyday lives; too often our ears and minds are filled with chatter, questions, advertising and unnecessary anxiety. A bike ride is an escape. A time to flick through a portfolio of thoughts, and dismiss those unworthy of our attention. It is a time to let your mind wander, to be creative and allow fresh thinking. It is space, for an often-cluttered mind.



Challenge

Whether it is small challenges, like racing to the ferry, or large challenges like season-long objectives and long distance rides; bike riding provides the opportunity to push yourself, and try and reach new goals. Sometimes you make them, sometimes you fall short; either way, you gain motivation to push yourself further the next time. Challenges are great: they teach you a lot about yourself, and provide rewards and lessons en-route.



Health

This seems obvious really, but cycling promotes good health. We live very sedentary lifestyles, for the most part, and getting daily physical activity is vital to keeping yourself in good shape and avoiding health conditions. Getting your heart rate up, even just once a day, has huge benefits.



Friends 

I have never been a huge drinker, pub goer or clubber. I am far happier talking through thoughts and feelings on a bike, with good friends. Many of my closest mates are cyclists, and a bike ride is a form of socialising. We don't even just talk about bikes...



Exploration

Bike riding has taken me all over the world, and on countless journeys. Whether the bike is the mechanism of getting there, or the reason for going, there is little doubt that I have seen and done a whole lot more because of it. Touring trips, races and a desire to take the road less travelled; a bike is a great way to explore.



Testing and Learning

I get real enjoyment from testing new products and new ideas on the bike. A bit like I got great pleasure from building and testing things with Meccano and Lego when I was younger; testing, feeding back, and improving products is great fun. Hopefully you have enjoyed some of the feedback through my reviews.



The Unknown Horizon

Finally, I realised that one of the reasons I ride, is because of the unknown. There are many uncertainties on a bike ride: the weather, the route conditions, even the road or trail conditions around the next bend. Bike riding is an unknown, and that keeps you on your toes, and keeps your toes on the pedals, eager to see what the next pedal stroke will bring.



Passion

The truth is, the reason I spend so many hours in the saddle and accumulate so many miles in a year, is because there are so many reasons that I love riding my bike.

For me, it is an escape, an adventure, a challenge, a test; a means of staying fit and healthy, of experiencing new places and meeting new people. It is a sport, a hobby, a passion, and a medicine.

Why do I ride? Because, I couldn't be without it.


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