I normally ride with a group of youngsters, but today they all chickened out. Riding with the group has recently been causing me a problem as I am a great deal older than them. I seem to be slowing down, hence possible ruining their ride by making them wait at the top of hills. Advantages of riding in a group?. As I am totally offroad, it is reassuring to have others around in case you have the accident, or not feeling right, or a mechanical occurs when you are miles from the nearest road.
However, Today I went on my own. Took an easier route that was not quite so desolate, and in case of misshaps, it would not be too long before other bikers or walkers came across me. What a difference. No wearing myself out chasing the fit bugger up the hill, no other bikes to have to repair when they break down, and a sense of relief that I was not ruining their ride by having them wait at the top of each hill. Still put in the effort up the hills, had to take it a bit easier on the downhills though, as I didn't fancy an off on the slippery surface, took my pace on the flat bits, and took the stops when I wanted them.
Average speed on the ride was back to levels of 2 years ago, and I finished the ride without the aching muscles or bruises that I would normally expect, and still with energy.
I do enjoy the company of others on the rides, but today has probably been one of me most enjoyable rides this year.