Author Topic: Describe Your Favourite Riding  (Read 2335 times)

LEE

Describe Your Favourite Riding
« on: May 04, 2009, 08:11:45 pm »
Most of my miles are training loops, on average about 20 miles or so and at a fairly leisurely pace. 
The training is all about Audax rides. 
The Audax rides are all about training for PBP in 2011

PBP has always seemed an age away but it's now in sight and my mind has started to drift to my post-PBP cycling life. During those Audax night stages (when you get a lot of time to think about life, the Universe and everything) I've weighed-up what it is I like about cycling and what I want to do most of.  I've come to some conclusions about the type of riding I like and the sort of cyclist I am.

1) It's NOT long distance Audaxing (I think 300km and above is long distance).  I see these as a means to an end (SR/PBP). 
2) 200km Audaxes seem about perfect
3) I like a challenge but once it's done, it's done.  I won't do more than one PBP and the only reason I'm doing multiple 300/400/600 rides is so I can get SR (check) and PBP.
4) I absolutely love cycling in the sun with friends, panniers full of camping gear ,heading off to a campsite via a few pubs.  Tent should be pitched before 7pm and we should be slouched around some pub-grub before 8pm.  Breakfast should be cooked (fried) outside tent at 8am and we should be on the road again around 10am (repeat).

So there's my favourite riding, Cycle Camping with friends (and I've done it embarassingly rarely) 

Long Audax rides are getting in the way of of what I really love doing.  I find my "Because it's there" compulsion to ride PBP rather annoying and can't wait until it's done (or failed, I won't try it twice). 

2012 and beyond will be a lifetime of Cycle Camping, Social rides/Audaxes <201km.


Favourite = Cycle Camping

What's yours and why?

RichForrest

  • T'is I, Silverback.
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 08:17:49 pm »
I enjoy the local short rides I do to show others how easy it is to get about by bike when they say they can't do 20 miles.
Yesterdays ride I had 42 people turn up, all of which thanked me for the 13 mile off road loop I lead them around  8)
I've been doing these rides for 6 years now and it still gives me pleasure when someone comes up and says thanks for a great ride.


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 09:16:30 pm »
Group rides to pubs. These are, to me, the best sort of cycling of all.

Going out with Mrs. Wow on the tandem. This type of riding is also included in the above, more often than not.

I've not done enough cycle camping to say it's amongst my favourite forms of cycling, but the little I've done has been great fun.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

LEE

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 09:18:02 pm »
Group rides to pubs. These are, to me, the best sort of cycling of all.


I find it hard not to agree.

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 09:23:53 pm »
I like night rides best.  The Dunwich Dynamo is what keeps me going on the bike all year, because if I stop, I might never get fit enough to do it again.  However, I don't do it as a slow social ride - I'm off at 8pm and it's the thought of 600-700 other riders bearing down on me that keeps me riding hard.  Fortunately I have a riding partner who is willing to take the same approach.  I reckon we'd have made the beach by 4.30 last year if we hadn't cocked up the navigation at Lavenham, and then again at Cretingham.  GPS this year.
Never tell me the odds.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 09:26:12 pm »
I love riding all year round, on my own is fine. However I find group rides just fab - the chance to chat to random people, to visit new places, to find out things you never previously knew (such as what a 'buskin' is!). Group rides are just brill!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 09:34:11 pm »
Touring down through France or Italy, with no pre-planned destination. Finding a bar or small restaurant for lunch, and a B&B or small hotel for the evening.

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 09:49:48 pm »
Pretty much a 50/50 balance of sociable rides and solo rides.

The thing which does stick in my memory however, is in the course of an local architectural / investigative ride I found myself descending a hill and then ascending it.

And then for no reason I can identify - descending again followed by climbing again, and then (and this is really perverse) thinking about 'what other hills are there around her that I can climb?'

What's going on there, eh?

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 10:16:01 pm »
I have to say that if I'm not with Mrs. Wow or in a large group, Annie makes a very agreeable riding companion. Her appreciation of smut, innuendo and general silliness matches my own extremely well.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
    • MEMWNS Map
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2009, 11:21:26 am »
Lots of overlap with things already said ... perhaps a couple of others too:-

  • Group rides to pubs
  • Night riding
  • Exploring
  • Riding in company
  • Riding alone
  • Pushing myself further (e.g. Audax) and faster (e.g. Sportive) than I've done before

There's a bit in Tim Krabbe's book, The Rider, that sums up for me one of the best things I've enjoyed about cycling, since I came to it after a longish period of neglecting my fitness etc.  It's particularly relevant to the last point above:-

Quote
"I stopped doing everything else, I trained harder and harder, my body began achieving things I'd no longer thought possible.  I was touched by its loyalty.  I had neglected it for so long, but there were no hard feelings, it seemed only pleased to have me call on it again."

Edit: Riding this road at night is one of my favourite things.  It features on a couple of my regular routes, is a very quiet, narrow lane, tree-lined in places, but with open fields either side of the row of trees and a view towards the Blackwater estuary, with a good surface, and ticks one other of the boxes above (it connects two excellent pubs).
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
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Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2009, 11:32:17 am »
The best bike rides are the ones that are adventures.  Whether that's about the route, the people, the bike or just pushing myself further, it's all about discovering something new.

I think my favourite rides in past years have been:

  • Those really special FNRttC nights when the weather's been just right and we've glided down to Brighton on a magic carpet of convivial chat and silliness
  • The Zombocalypse camping trip
  • Riding my new penny to Chester the other weekend
  • Pootling out to a pub somewhere with a combination of Annies, Wowbaggers, Regulators and other simillarly lovely dramatis personae of the forum. Pickled eggs not required...
  • The first day of TRAT 2008 - out of Cornwall by lunchtime and going like the clappers with a tailwind pushing us along
  • Gliding back home along the towpath by the Thames on a summer's night with a few mates after Critical Mass and pancakes

Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Really Ancien

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2009, 11:37:00 am »
Running in front of a strong tailwind after a grim headwind slog, I've turned and it's 100 inch plus gears for over 100km, after being close to the time limit, the cushion is building up at the rate of an hour every 50 minutes, as group after group is reeled in. Rouleur heaven.

Damon.

eck

  • Gonna ride my bike until I get home...
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Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2009, 12:09:30 pm »
Running in front of a strong tailwind after a grim headwind slog,
Damon.
So you would have enjoyed that blast along from Lochailort to Fort William on Sunday night?  :thumbsup:
It's a bit weird, but actually quite wonderful.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2009, 12:13:21 pm »
All sorts of different things make for a good ride, so it's hard to pick a favourite.

Among them would be:

Cycle camping - the sense of freedom is just so complete.

Rides punctuated by tea, toasted teacake, Ploughmans, more tea etc

Rides in good company.

And sometimes, even the commute home is a joy. :)
Getting there...

Really Ancien

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2009, 12:23:25 pm »
Running in front of a strong tailwind after a grim headwind slog,
Damon.
So you would have enjoyed that blast along from Lochailort to Fort William on Sunday night?  :thumbsup:

If I hadn't had a slow puncture and a dread of wasting my last tube when I wouldn't be able to be sure that I'd got the flint out of the tyre, in the dark and rain. Sorted by using the spare tyre and my front light held between my teeth, no midges though.

Damon.

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2009, 03:10:49 pm »
The sense of achievement on reaching one's destination (say, 70 miles) around lunchtime, because of a stoopid-o-clock start, empty roads, and pre-programmed-the-night-before GPS.  Then spending all afternoon on the riverbank, watching lycra-clad competitors at a regatta.

(And being asked by my rowing-club-mates "Oh, you got the train then?" and watching their jaws drop when I tell them I rode the whole way.)
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2009, 08:46:27 pm »
The ones where it just feels good ... I've yet to pin that down to a certain sort of ride, but something new or a sense of space are in there...
Moonlight glinting on the sea on my hour's local loop.
Getting down that steep rooty bit without taking my feet off the pedals, then racing some rabbits.
Clearing that long hill without bottom gear or a rest and the skylarks singing to me.
Seeing some new roads, new scenes coming over the hill, where my legs just keep spinning.

... I must get round to trying some of these long and/or social rides I keep hearing about and see what that's like  :)


Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2009, 08:48:59 pm »
Group rides to pubs. These are, to me, the best sort of cycling of all.


I find it hard not to agree.


The ride to & especially from the long Itchington beer festival on Sunday was a classic. One small village, six pubs & a canalside route home. Priceless!
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2009, 08:51:38 pm »
A good, long Sunday in the countryside, followed by cake.

Or, the slightly less frequent option of spinning up an Alpine col, followed by an average 40mph descent for around 30 mins.

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2009, 09:37:13 pm »
Favourite riding? On my own on my summer bike on a flat road straining every muscle and sinew to go as fast as I am physically capable of doing, right on the edge.

Neil

gordon taylor

Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2009, 09:37:35 pm »
I like it when it's hard - cold, wet, and shitty. Sensible people would stop, but people like me (and most of you) just tuck down, clip in and press on. Motorists gape, trucks skim by, but your legs find a tiny bit more power - hour after unbelievable hour. At twilight, you stand in the hostel or campsite reception with a pool of water expanding on the floor around you, feeling like a god inside whilst looking like a fat shipwreck survivor on the outside. You put some food on and immediately unfold the sodden map to see where tomorrow's adventure will take you. Sleep hits you like a baseball bat, the rain pours all night, but the next morning can't come quick enough. This is living; using every craft, skill, sense and muscle you've got. An hour of two of sunshine makes you feel as excited as a ten year old kid, a whole baguette and half a pound of blue cheese is a sensible morning snack... you shout and sing randomly for most of the day... and dread the deep-buried knowledge that in a few weeks' time it will all come to an end and a ferry or a plane will take you back to home, work and reality.

I love my cycling, it defines me.

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
    • MEMWNS Map
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2009, 09:58:42 pm »
Hi Gordy - that's fantastic --- a worthy nomination for post of the day.

Should also be made into a tee-shirt in the manner of the old trainspotting (and, later, fixiespotting) poster/tee-shirts.

Wonderful stuff,  I'm still grinning after reading that. ;D

You're right - somehow the horrible weather rides when people look at you like you're bonkers are very, very satisfying.
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2009, 10:30:30 pm »
My favourite kind of riding is nothing to do with bikes.

And I'm very fond of the West Riding.

And I like pootling around in places where there's nature to see - ducks and swans and rabbits and flowers and things.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2009, 10:12:50 pm »
I like riding my bike and have done since I was 13. At that age, it was freedom. Now, it is the opportunity to be see parts of the countryside at a reasonable pace without the inconvenience of being in a car.

On most Audax events, I ride on my own and am comfortable with my own company as long as there is social interaction at the controls. Night riding does not phase me and in fact, I enjoy it.

In contrast, every year for the last 9 years, 4 of us have been going on tour together and this has been a chain gang style of outing. Very enjoyable though.

.
H



mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Describe Your Favourite Riding
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2009, 11:04:22 pm »
At that age, it was freedom. Now, it is the opportunity to see parts of the countryside at a reasonable pace without the inconvenience of being in a car.
same fing; innit?
Has never ridden RAAM
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