For me, cycling itself is a form of therapy or as my friends call it, “cyclotheraphy”. Spending time in the saddle alone allows you to take your mind off of the days business and allows you to focus on yourself. This past Sunday, I was able to do just that.
The roads were dry but the temps were below zero, I jumped on my cyclocross bike and headed south out of town towards Nottawa. My selected route started at the Black Ash trail to Poplar Sideroad to Hamilton Trail and then south along the rail trail to Stayner. The trails were soft from all the snow that had melted over the last few weeks, so once I got to Nottawa Sideroad, I decided to head west toward the escarpment on the asphalt.
Riding alone has a several perks, one of them is the time you can spend thinking about….well sometimes nothing, but mostly whatever’s on your mind at the time. I spent this ride reflecting on my 2014 riding season. It started off with a bang during the end of January and the Tour of Sufferlandria, followed by two months of trying to ride 250km on the trainer per week. Endless hours were spent watching Netflix and Sufferfest videos before the weather begain to turn warm. All of my training was focused on one event in France at the beginning of July, Le Marmotte (175km 5200m of climbing). By the time I got on the plane the last week of June I had already logged over 6500km all for the year. Le Marmotte was an incredible experience; however, the rest of the riding I did in France was life changing. I realized that there are so many places out there that I need to see….especially by bike. For the remainder of the summer, my focus was on the local cycling club and riding my bike for the sake of riding my bike. I forgot about uploading to Strava, I didn’t care how fast I climbed, I dismissed “segments” from my mind and majority of the time rode with my Garmin stuffed in my pocket (just to track my millage). I spent time getting to know new cyclists, rode with people that I wanted to, and always, always spent time at the back of the pack. I rode my bike and loved every minute of it.
For 2015, I have 10 cycling goals. There are as follows, in no particular order:
1. Ride faster
2. Climb harder
3. Always help at the back
4. Always chase - Always attack again
5. Ride more with my wifie
6. Break a chain
7. Wear out tires
8. Tour of Sufferlandria
9. Maui & Italy (Maratona)
10. Remember why I ride
My ride ended after I had climbed up towards the Osler Ski club and flew home along Sixth Street with the wind on my back. Despite the fact I was alone, I still sprinted for the Collingwood town sign (it’s what people don’t see that makes you stronger).
If you find yourself trying to plan your 2015 season, hop on your bike, take a ride and spend some good quality time thinking about what you want cycling to give you, there’s nothing wrong with a little cyclotheraphy!