Time in the Saddle
I’m sure most of feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we want to.
In particular, next month I’m due to ride 100 miles (and about 6500ft of climbing) in the Circuit of the Cotswolds. This target is within my grasp, but I have to be able to put the hours in the saddle to give myself the best day. Back in March, I took part in the Lionheart Sportive in Longleat, and harsh weather aside, I was wholly unprepared for the difficult climbing involved.
I started looking at Cycling Magazines with their ’12 week training plans’ (or at this stage ‘4 week training plans’!) and fretting about getting the time in. These involve 3-4 rides a week, some of more than two hours - I just don’t have that kind of free time!
Besides, I don’t want to do ‘training’ - thats not what I got into cycling for. I started riding because I loved being outside, propelling myself forward through beautiful countryside and villages and clearing my head of worries. The weight loss and fitness were great side-benefits, rather than the main drive. (I’ll be honest, I also got in cycling for the geekery of bike parts!).
There’s so many important areas where my time needs to be spent; my family, my business, and in particular my Dad. He’s had Parkinsons for 10 years now, and lost his wife and full-time carer when mum died last year. I don’t mention this for any other reason than to try and explain why I’ve turned down offers for speaking at conferences, or generally go a bit quiet. I’m keeping extra commitments to a minimum where I can.
So I try not feel frustrated and ashamed about my lack of riding time, or envious of those who seem to have spare time to ride in abundance. I’ll continue to ride as much as I can, for as long my body lets me, just without any self-imposed pressure. Even if that means I don’t do any more sportives.
(Photo by Al Power)