I was sitting in an old-fashioned burger joint with my wife today when the song "uphill battle" came on the soundsystem. As I sat there, I started thinking about how the lyrics of that song relate to my own experience with climbing mountains on bicycles. Then I had an epiphany of sorts: "Wow, this DOESN’T describe how I feel when I ride AT ALL." It suddenly sunk in that I needed to rename my blog.
So what’s the deal behind the new blog name? Well, honestly, I’ve come to believe that racing a bike is selfish. In fact, I’d argue it’s anything BUT heroic. You take time away from your family and your job in the name of personal fitness. Where’s the heroism in that? So why do I ride at all? Because I enjoy it. It’s an indulgence. Really. If it were just about staying in shape, I’d be spending a lot more time with my weights than with my bike. If it were about winning every race, I would’ve quit a long time ago. I do it because I enjoy it; I enjoy riding my bike. And I enjoy being "the bike guy" in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Heck, I enjoy the feeling of my legs turning the pedals over and over. I enjoy seeing the places bikes take me—the summits, the valleys, the vistas, the greenery. I love what I see when I ride.
So does that mean my competitive fire has died? I don’t know about that; I still plan to show up at a race or two next year. But I realized that when I ride—even uphill—it isn’t a battle. It’s an experience. It’s fun. And that’s really the only way I can justify it.