Faced with my easy 5 mile commute at 7.30 in the morning I'm normally either half asleep and can't be arsed or busy dealing with rain/sleet/ice/builders vans/muddy roads so don't give riding a great deal of thought. This morning was different though...
I set off feeling lazy and sleepy straight uphill out of the village and something clicked. It wasn't my ageing knees or cyclist's spine (before you say it) it was a switch in my head!
Boom! It was like a gun going off - I charged up, flat out, full effort, interval style, changing gear only when absolutely necessary before a brief recovery and the next slope or short uphill and pretty much repeating this all the way to work. Why? I have no idea, I just did.
Now, having owned singlespeed mountain bikes for years I'm no stranger to gurning my way uphill on or off road. There's something strangely satisfying about beasting yourself up hill and trying to stay on top of the gear, pulling your best gurning face whilst your legs are in lactic acid shock and your heart is trying to burst out of your chest - or is it just me?
Rhetorical question, I know it's not just me - there are other like minded, weird souls out there, other cyclists, just like you!
One minute you are bimbling along the prom enjoying the sunshine and the next it's flat out walker/family slalom, racing your mate/partner whilst trying not to case it into a group of geriatric twitchers; or a casual group ride that turns into a flat out sprint between gates for absolutely no reason that ends with a gurning sweaty mess as you push on.
Even those without a competitive nature will occasionally find the inclination to gurn up a random hill, just to see what happens...
How deep is your gurn? This is a question you probably haven't asked yourself before (!) and what it means to me is just how far I'll push on, how much further i'll get up that hill or where in the group sprint to the pub I'll come. No-one else cares, it's just for fun and only for my own satisfaction. With full on, flat-out effort, gurn face for good measure:)
Free Exercise - that's the ride to work on any day; it comes with a free buzz as you coast into work with fizzing muscles and a smile on your face realising that you've just saved yourself a gym workout.
Bikes are brilliant aren't they...?
'til next time...Paul