I go out every week with my riding partners and we generraly do about 25 to 30 miles offroad. We always take this at a fair pace, or at least at a pace that keeps my heart rate well up for most of the ride. Last weekend was different though as we went out to an organised cycle event that was about 10 miles away. This was organised for all grades of rider from the accomplished roadie, right down to family groups. I wanted to get out there a bit quick so chose the route to give us a flatter route, but still offroad. The trails were also better than we normally take being gravelled cycle routes and not the broken offroad tracks that we would normally do.
Got to the venue, looked round the trade stands, had a Bacon sandwich and basically enjoyed the event. Eventually we got bored though and started on the way home. Running a bit late, so took the easier tracks again, and arrived home to find that we had taken in 10 extra miles to our normal rides, and we had done a higher than average speed.
I know we had not taken in the big hills that we normally do, we had not had to wait for the group to reform, and we had not broken out into the out of breath, legs dead and sweating buckets mode that we normally ride in. We had time to look at the scenery, the different route took us through parts of our locality that we had not seen and made us realise how lucky we are to live in the area that we do. Not only did we all enjoy this ride, we all had to admit that we were not as shatterred as we normally would be.
It made a pleasant change to have a ride that did not leave us with legs of lead, and a lack of energy for the rest of the day, so I actually watched the tour that afternoon, without missing the important bits by falling asleep.