One of the things I like about cycling is the freedom it gives me. I am not into serious racing or Keeping up with the others on speed or distance or the number of rides I do- So I just do my own thing.
Until last year I was mountain biking with a group that was about my standard and mentality- Just out to get a ride in- Have a coffee and Bun (Or pie if available)- and enjoy the ride. Mileage would be high enough to say we have had a good workout so it was not just out turning the legs. Gradually the group has diminished though and it has finished up with just 3 of us and the occasional extra joining in. Now amongst the other two is a rider that I do not enjoy riding with. He is fit and I cannot put that against him, but you never ride with him. If you do- he will wear you out for the first 30 miles- but then he starts to lose a lot of energy. It doesn’t really matter though as The other rider and I will accommodate him when he does slow down by waiting for him on the hills- taking our pace down to help him, or even cutting short our planned ride to get him home in one piece. If he is not out- then Martin and I go out for a good ride- take in some severe hills at our pace and probably get in 40 to 45 miles.
All that changed last year though when I got the road bike. I then started doing Road rides on it and they came along with me on my rides. I had a learning curve to do but the Fitun was going to stay with me on the road on his knobbly tyres- Ok he could do it- Me lacking in finesse and him with his fitness. Mileage would have be lower and I started alternating road and offroad rides to keep in the two forms of riding. Didn’t work as the road rides were not giving me enough mileage and the offroads were still not right. I then modified things again and Weekends were for MTB and evenings were for the road bike.
Those road rides carried on midweek over the winter but this year I have cried enough. I want to get out on the road bike more often and I want to do routes and distances that the others will struggle on. Martin could manage it if I set him up with slicks and higher gearing but just face it- how is an MTB going to stay with a road bike. One of the pair of us will have to modify his ride to suit the other and to be honest- neither of us is going to get a good ride. I will have to cut speed to keep Martin with me and He will have to put in just a bit extra effort just to stay with me on the flat at my reduced rate.
So from now on- if I decide that I am going on the road- I am going solo. I will be able to get myself fit enough for a hilly 100 miler later in the year, I might even be able to get myself up the 15%ers with compact gearing, but unless I get out there and do the training at my pace and in my time- I am going to miss out on a lot of rides later in the year that I would like to do. Even the fitter of us have to keep in training so I can only guess what George- SKT- DG- -TWL and any others I have forgotten to mention have to do to get their Metric in this year.
So to put it Bluntly- I am turning into a miserable sad old(er) man that is just out to enjoy himself and s*d everyone else. Just like the rest of you will be When you find a change of skills coming about.