Maybe it’s that I lack in imagination or ambition or both. I get emails from cyclists all the time talking about the amazing rides they’ve done or the ones they want to do. Lots of multi-month, cross country rambles. Some circumnavigation of the Alps. New Zealand north to south. So many riders seem to have so much appetite for the big, broad adventure.
I mostly don’t think about trips like that. I could guess that my job and family make the odds of finding the time so slim that I don’t dare crack the door of possibility, at least until the kids are gone and the calendar opens.
A long time ago I set out on a cross-country trip, LA to Boston, with a group of cyclists who were brain tumor survivors. I drove the van. It was instructive. Some days offered up America’s dramatic beauty. Others were cold and rainy and not much fun. The daily challenge of finding beds and showers for the riders kept me on tenterhooks, and in the end we had to bail on the attempt on the West Texas border. Sitting in the van, watching what the riders were going through, how they were reacting to rapidly evolving conditions of the ride, sucked the romance right out of the trip for me.
Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t kill my interest in a ride like that, but it did re-level my expectations for such an endeavor, and it colored my view of the logistical and emotional effort necessary to pull one off.
Now, when I think about the ambitious riding I want to do, it’s all around Wales, up and down the valleys of the middle and north of the country, spidering out from the old family home. Or I think about long trail adventures. Less and less about road rides and cheap hotels.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what is the horizon of your cycling ambition? Have you done something epic? What? Or do you daydream about days and days of riding piling up in front of you? If so, where?