Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pleasure Riding: Oh, Right!

I cannot recommend highly enough the practice of making a recovery ride also serve as a ride with your sweetheart. (Unless your sweetheart is more of a hammerhead than you are, in which case, maybe you should ask her/him to do a recovery ride with you.)

Mrs. V. is a fine cyclist, but her talent is not hammering (at least, not yet). She is a champ at riding for the enjoyment of it -- a precious gift, which I have lost to a rather embarrassing extent. However, without external motivation, she doesn't really get out much.

So, for the last few weekends in a row, I've asked her to accompany me on a quiet Sunday ride, and the results have been very fun and convivial. Pretty country lanes, burbling brooks, quiet, shady cemeteries, frequent stops, lots of good conversation, and an emphasis on pleasure.

For someone who often takes his riding more seriously than his talent merits, it's a terrific change of pace, a reconnection to why I started riding a bike all those decades ago. It's a re-direct from all the obsession over mileage, goal events, and invidious comparisons.

It's also a nice opportunity for Mrs. V. to feel a bit of excitement about this "hobby" on which I lavish so much attention, time and, occasionally, money.

You've probably heard of the Slow Food movement, a response to the inundation of fast food. It looks like I'm starting my own personal Slow Ride movement. Won't you join?


Anonymous said...

Ah, those days when you measure your speed in SPH - smiles per hour...

Velosopher said...

Precisement, monsieur.

Dan O said...

Slow Ride movement - excellent.

My "slow rides" revolve around riding with my 10 year old son. We mountain bike quite a bit together and it's just great.

He's been riding for a few years now and does some racing as well. Even during races, I rode behind him in case of problems (we're still talking 9/10 year old kids a few miles into the woods) - though he never really needed my assistance, I got a front row seat to the action. Awesome.

I remember the first few woods rides we did together - he was about 7 years old - watching him stand on climbs, helmet bobbing back and forth. I get actually weepy. Yeah, I'm a sap for such things.

In any case, I'd rather ride with him - just a fun cruise for me really - and lose "training" time. In a few years I'll be trying to keep up with him.

A good trade off.

Velosopher said...

Dan O, glad to see you here -- I also linked to your blog from RKP after your fine comments on the Armstrong post.

I much appreciate hearing about your family time on the bike with your son, something I'm looking forward to myself someday.