The Daily Grind: remembering to ride for fun
With the final weeks of the 2019 road season underway it is nearly time to give into a bit of burn-out. It is also an apt time to partake in bit of self-reflection. Looking back on my Road Results, after all of the very cold and very early mornings, the wet days spent race directing rather than racing, and a canceled race or two, the reality is that it has been a tough road season. A confluence of off the bike stress and ‘real life’ time commitments didn’t help. Nor did the many days spent stressing over registration trends. And with Intelligentsia Cup off my race schedule it was difficult to get motivated for a calendar that mostly featured the usual assortment of local races in Central Park and Prospect Park. As much as I love NYC Park racing, those events just are not the same caliber as Intelligentsia.
And so, with just a few local races left on my calendar before cyclocross kicks off, the past few weeks have been less about the rigors of structured training and more about getting back to riding for fun. Or as Jacob, our team coach, prefers to spell it: F-U-N. It’s a topic that Ted wrote about last year, but particularly as we move later into the season I find it oh so important to partake in some non-structured ‘training.’ For me that has meant some weekends wandering the backroads (and trails) by the beach. Other weekends this has meant simply taking time off the bike for ‘real life’ adventures.
Which isn’t to suggest that structured training has come to an end entirely. I am still joining in some big team rides, including some race simulation efforts that were far from easy. But as road season comes to a conclusion it’s been a blast getting back to riding mostly for fun and taking in some new events like D2R2. As our deep dive into the lifecycle of the average bike racer showed, more often than not bike racing is a two year venture for most folks before they leave the sport entirely. As I enter my tenth year racing, it’s these breaks from structured training and getting back to riding for fun that keeps me centered, and excited about the prospects of the 2020 road season. Moral of the story: don’t forget to ride for fun.