Such is the rarest of chances that I get to ride during the week with my fellow club members. Having to save the big miles and loops around Oxfordshire to the weekend, the Bank Holiday Monday yesterday gave me the opportunity to buck that trend and hit the road for a late-afternoon push with five others from the club.
The day was threatening rain all day long, the wind was making itself know all too well, and we had started off rather well – picking up other riders along the way. Staying dry was the aim, but that was never going to be the outcome. But even the chance to just get out was all the reason I needed to do just that. I get rather envious of the how it would seem a number of my fellow club rides are able create these windows of time for them to hit the road together. Tapping out a steady 50-60 mile session – be it hill training, a chain gang or a steady session. I notice how much I want that in my own week-in-week-out, 9-to-5 existence, but I honestly can’t see a way for that to work…unless of course I was my own boss!
Regardless of whether or not I ever make that employment choice, I still got a ride in and it did (as most rides do) made my day, bringing with it a very satisfying conclusion to the Easter Holiday. Not to mention the high winds and nearly horizontal rain along with it! Managing to keep up at a steady 18+ miles-per-hour (into a head wind), my riding partner at the time shouted towards me something that stuck with me for the entire ride:
These are the miles that matter, and make all those summer rides much easier…
He was right too because I haven’t made the time to do any set level of training for a while, but when I’m flying down the road, thinking to myself how easy this all feels, I will think back and wonder how exactly I got to this point sometime in the future. And it will click:
These muck fest rides, where you’re chewing the wheel ahead of yours’ grit, you will know that these are the miles that count.