A Matter of Perspective.

Of late, I’ve been thinking.  I haven’t ridden much since July.  My bike computer is stuck at 282.10 miles, though I’m sure it owes me about 20 from all the times it malfunctioned. The reason I mention this is that I think I spend too much time at the TE forums.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the forums.  It’s a great community of supportive women (and some men!) with good advice for those of us who are still trying to find their biking legs (or have misplaced them).  The problem is, with ride threads and weight loss threads and gear threads constantly going on, I start feeling a little…inadequate.

I feel guilty if I want to sit on the couch and eat chips for an evening. I feel guilty for ‘wasting’ a sunny day on housework.  Heck, I feel guilty for going on a six-mile walk in the morning, rather than a ride.  I feel like I’m less of a cyclist for not pounding out fifty or sixty or seventy miles on a Sunday morning.  I feel like I’m less of a cyclist because after a year, my bike is cheap, my mileage is low, and I’m still breathless when I reach the top of my nemesis hill (after taking it at 16 mph).  The vibe I often get from the forum is that I should be fearlessly zooming around these urban potholed streets every chance I get, at least until the worst of winter sets in. (While eating only organic local produce picked by virgin priestesses during the full moon, no less!)

I know that most of the people on TE would disagree with that statement.  They’re an encouraging bunch, but still respectful of the fact that I (and others) have lower risk tolerances than they do.  Hanging around, even online, with cyclists can really warp your perspective.  There’s always a nagging “I should be…”, whether it’s commuting by bike, doing hill repeats or paying very close attention to what I eat.

This is, of course, absurd.  For a start, I don’t have the financial resources to do the “roadie” thing.  My bike may not be carbon, nor is it equipped with Ultegra, but I love her despite her flaws and her eight-speed cassette.  She serves my purposes, and is fun to ride, even if she does require a few more tweaks than average.  If I don’t feel like riding, I don’t have to.  Walking is exercise too, better exercise than riding the same distance. I don’t need to feel guilty for making sure everything I eat meets certain standards of nutrition.  I don’t need to ride every day.  If I want to sit on the couch and read for an afternoon (or a week), I can do that.  I don’t have to ride outside my comfort zone.  I do more than a lot of people.  I can live with that.

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2 Responses to A Matter of Perspective.

  1. Roadtrip says:

    There are extremes to either end and I think it’s safe to say it’s better to live where your comfortable. It’s your life. We try and mark our accomplishments and compare them to others. I’ve logged 80-90 miles this year. I struggle with my nemesis hill and scared to death when cars are around me. That 1.5 miles (up the hill WITH cars zooming past) to the grocery store still gets me really stressed.

    Compare this years progress to the year before and I’ve improved BIGTIME, but compare to the those that are really, really “into” the sport… I’m a total slug, not worth the tread on my tires.. yadda yadda. We can’t do that to ourselves. Keep your own yardstick.

    Sending some virtual hugs your way!!

  2. Pingback: Lust | Going Whole Cog

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