Author Topic: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling  (Read 2383 times)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2012, 02:45:49 pm »
No, rushing about isn't essential. On the other hand, I like to ride hard and fast. I find that enjoyable. And it makes me happy that I'm fit enough to be able to ride at what most people would consider a pretty decent pace for several hours at a time. In fact, it gives me a huge buzz. I love it. I've still got room for improvement, though, and I'm going to continue to work at making myself faster until it stops being enjoyable.

If anyone aspires to be a whippet-like roadie, I say go for it. Put the hours in. Feel the burn. Earn it.

Per ardua ad astra.

d.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2012, 02:56:22 pm »
The thing is, all these people who talk about comfort and enjoyment, don't seem to realise how depressing being a bit crap can be. I hate riding slowly- below what I view as being my best, feeling that I'm not pulling my weight, and loathe being the cause of anyone else having to ride slower, or wait, if I'm riding in a group.

The old effort:reward curve is there with cycling, just like anything else.
Big effort, big reward. Little effort, little reward.

That said, keep at it, and you will get faster anyway. Push a little bit, you'll get faster, faster. Spend your whole time living and breathing it, get obsessive, cross train, consider your nutrition, schedule in rest and recovery and before you know it you'll be knocking out 100k in less than 4 hours and shooting up hills like snot from a sneeze. You will, however, only be able to hang out with other cyclists because you're so dull and narrow minded no one else can stomach your company.

You don't have to be fit to enjoy cycling. But if you are fit you might enjoy it more. Or it might become a sufferfest. The real question is what do you want out of it?
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2012, 03:25:31 pm »
The real question is what do you want out of it?

What Citoyen said - No, rushing about isn't essential. On the other hand, I like to ride hard and fast. I find that enjoyable. And it makes me happy that I'm fit enough to be able to ride at what most people would consider a pretty decent pace for several hours at a time. In fact, it gives me a huge buzz. I love it. I've still got room for improvement, though, and I'm going to continue to work at making myself faster until it stops being enjoyable.

without being a sufferfest, there are other things in life after all.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2012, 03:27:15 pm »
The thing is, all these people who talk about comfort and enjoyment, don't seem to realise how depressing being a bit crap can be.

Oh, I get it, believe me...

It's miserable not being able to go anywhere interesting because you can only manage a tiny fraction of the required distance.

It's miserable not being able to go fast enough to be able to practically mix with traffic.

It's miserable riding the same old route over and over because everything else involves a bastard hill.

It's miserable not being able to join in on group rides because no group is going to get out of bed for 20k at a 7mph average.

It's miserable to need a three-fold improvement in battery technology before cheating's a realistic option.

It's miserable to have to cancel your ride because of what the thermometer says.

It's miserable being continually afraid that your knee/hip/foot/digestive system/whatever might fail and strand you in pain (or worse) miles from anywhere.

It's miserable to have a disability that means you can't transport your cycle to ride somewhere more pleasant.

It's miserable to be the slowest in the group.

It's miserable to not have a better bike.

It's miserable to fear serious injury.

It's miserable not to be able to see well enough to ride on your own.

It's miserable to carefully plan every ride to avoid anything that looks like a contour line.

It's miserable to carefully plan every ride to avoid getting the shits.

It's miserable to not be able to cycle because you can't afford the recovery time.

It's miserable to finally achieve some goal and realise you've hated every minute of it.

And it's miserable to realise that, marginal gains aside, you're unlikely to ever be substantially better.



I cycle anyway.  I'm not entirely sure why.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2012, 03:40:20 pm »
It's miserable not being able to join in on group rides because no group is going to get out of bed for 20k at a 7mph average.



That sounds quite good that does, where do I sign up?

Seriously, my problem is that even for slow rides like Warties, bits of my body ache if I’m on a bike for that long (50 slow miles is a long time on a bike). And no way could I join anything faster in order to spend less time on the bike.

To be fair, I’m lucky, because I know that given sufficient time, which currently I don’t have due to other factors getting in the way/different priorities, I know I can potentially be much fitter and faster than I am now. When I first started cycling I was able to go out every single weekend and it was all much more effortless.

Toady

Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2012, 04:30:33 pm »
Look at it the other way round.

If you enjoy cycling you may find that you become fitter, as a bonus.

Martin 14

  • People too weak to follow their own dreams, will a
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2012, 10:38:15 pm »
It helps.............but have fun getting there.........about twenty years ago I took my son to take part in a MTB race he was 11 at the time, I really enjoyed watching him. Afterwards he nagged me to ride a lap with him to see what it was like, on a borrowed bike I did just that, returning after the lap totally dead. He then spent the next month trying to get me to ride the next race in the fun class and with the help of my brother persuaded me to take part. Both my brother and I approached it with the same goal to have a little fun. After the start of the race we both found ourselves walking the first hill, halfway round the second lap in the woods we laid the bikes down and sat down and both rolled a cigarette and smoked it!.........before going on to ride the last lap and we still came in middle of the field :)

By the following year I was racing a full suspension Klien in the Vets...............twenty years later I'm starting all over again only this time I'm sticking to the road :).............above all enjoy what you are doing, fittness comes with time and you get back what you put in ;)
People too weak to follow their own dreams, will always find a way to discourage yours

Jacomus

  • My favourite gender neutral pronoun is comrade
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2012, 10:17:47 am »
I used to really enjoy tearing up woodland trails (and often myself!). Then I got really into tearing up the road, got super fit and could really kick some ass and enjoy it.

Something was nagging at me though, but I couldn't put my finger on it until I suffered an n+1 attack in Decathlon and accidentally purchased a hybrid that manages to make a Challenger tank look svelte. Riding more slowly, in a relaxed position suddenly changed my world! I was now getting enjoyment and satisfaction.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." Amelia Earhart

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2012, 11:03:53 am »
To sum up, what the various responses in this thread have demonstrated is that "cycling" is a truly nebulous concept, covering many different activities, only tenuously connected by the use of a bicycle (or indeed a trike), and some of them do require a decent level of fitness if participation is to be enjoyed, but many of them don't.

Suffering on a bike can be a kind of fun, even if it only looks that way after the event. There have been times on some audaxes I've ridden where I've just wanted to crawl into a ditch and die, but as soon as I crossed the finish line, it suddenly didn't seem quite so bad.

And I've never suffered on a bike like I did in the cyclocross race I took part in a couple of months ago, but at the same time, it was also the most fun I've ever had on a bike. That's not actually as perverse as it sounds.

d.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2012, 01:35:37 pm »
i find the cycling more enjoyable when being fit, it means i can choose to ride fast, slow* or any speed in between. when less fit, i can only ride slow or faster, and then get upset of not able to go fast (for me) when i want to.
on audaxes, staying in a group that's too fast is a "schoolboy error" (which i try to avoid)

*lately, the most enjoyable were the rides from parkruns at ~10kph

Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2012, 07:47:19 pm »
It all depends on how you want to define "fit".

I'm of the view that "fit" has to be followed by "for" or "to".

Many on here would demonstrably be "fit" for a 100 or 200km Audax. In David Brailsford's terms they would be nowhere near approaching being "fit".

So - it feels better and it's more fun when you either adjust your cycling to your "fitness" or adjust your "fitness" to your cycling - depending upon your objectives.

AAO

Re: Do you have to be fit to enjoy cycling
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2012, 08:20:46 pm »
I would say that you just have to be reasonably well in order to enjoy cycling. Riding within your capabilities is automatically enjoyable, as is riding along with people who have similar levels of fitness.
Increased fitness comes as a result of time spent riding and, if you are motivated to do so, how much training you put in. I am in my 60s and have ridden for 5+ years - cycling fitness has improved gradually and my ability to ride longer distances has developed with no particular plan to the point where 50 mile rides are pretty straightforward. Of course, compared to the serious Audaxers hereabouts I am a complete lightweight.
How much extra enjoyment comes as a consequence of greater fitness is the $64,000 question.