This is why we ride

It had been a great day in the saddle. We were in Mallorca, had climbed the magical Sa Calobra, and we were about to do the long, fast descent down Puig Major towards a welcoming beer in our hotel. The sun was shining and spirits were high.

One of the riders in our group said 'This is why we ride'.

It was a concise observation at the time and we all nodded, but it was only in the following days and weeks that the phrase really struck home, and it became something of a mantra for me.

And it is - this is why we do long base miles in the winter, hurt ourselves on a turbo in an unwelcoming garage or do these virtual races on Zwift: so we can maximise our enjoyment of those magical experiences out in the wild.

Our daily lives, and the cities we live in are busy, chaotic and stressful places.
Cycling is our escape from all of that.

A friend once said "cycling sandblasts your thoughts", and it's so true. At the start of a ride your head will be full of conflicting ideas, all fighting for your attention. It may be a stressful issue at work, it may be a fight at home. You write an angry draft email to show the other side the error of their ways. Wisely you don't send it, instead you go for a ride to clear your head.

Three hours later you return home, muscles aching but mind fresh. You re-read your draft email again and immediately delete it, what previously seemed vital now seems trivial and there is a much better way to resolve things.