Tuesday, 23 November 2010

WHY DO I DO THIS?

HOW DEEP IS THIS ONE?
The other day I went out on my daily training ride at the usual time in the morning. The weather looked overcast and the wind seemed pretty strong but I had put my winter kit on so I wasn't going to be put off.
It wasn't long before the heavens opened and the winds seemed to get even stronger but I was spinning the pedals nicely so I carried on with my ride.
Head down looking out for potholes and wondering how deep each one was another thought entered my head.
 Why do I do this? I mean- I don't even enjoy riding in the rain much, as I have said in previous posts.
What makes someone go out in the pouring rain with the wind trying it's best to blow the unsuspecting rider off their bike?
I will be 63years young next birthday in January and I am recovering from cancer and some pretty awful treatment to get rid of it and yet something pushes me to get out and ride. Why?

This started me thinking back to when I was a lad of about 12 years of age. Come the school holidays I would talk friends into coming on long multi-day cycle touring trips. Looking back on it now I am quite amazed at some of the distances we used to cover- sometimes as much as 110 miles each day which is quite a distance for a young lad.
Nowadays I can't see many parents in the UK letting their 12 year old son go off on their bike for a couple of weeks. Most of them are not even happy with their offspring riding their bikes to school. However the point I am making here is that even then something was pushing me to get out and cover some distance.

It was the same when I got into 'backpacking' at about 16 years of age. It wasn't enough to cover a reasonable walking distance - I always felt that I wanted to walk further. The main thing was to cover a set distance say coast to coast and to do it in one long trip without any breaks in the journey.
It was that thinking that pushed me a few years ago to walk the length of South America. The trip seemed a challenge so I did it- setting out on my own because on that occasion I couldn't find anyone to give up work and do it with me.
When I cycled Lands End to John O'Groats a couple of years ago the challenge was to do it in 10 days and in one go. If something had caused us to fail it would not have been good enough for me to pick the route up at a later date. No! I would have had to start from the beginning again.
It's been the same with Long Distance Walking Routes - National Trails. I've always had to do them in one go-a rest day is ok but it needs to be a continuous unbroken trip.Why?

Why is it that for some people a camping trip would be a living hell while for others it is almost an obsession?  Questions and more Questions.

Getting back to the cycling- I have always been an endurance type of rider. A roadie who likes lots of distance and plenty of hills. Team 219 has a little motto 'no distance to far no hill to high'. I suppose the bottom line is it's about a challenge and once the parameters are set I have to stick to them.

I think all the questions I have posed in this 'ramble of a post' can be answered by something that I read on Groovers blog earlier today.
She was asking why some people are cyclists and others can only be party animals for whom cycling would be one of the worst things that they could do. Groover asked if it was possible that it is something that we are born with-something genetic. I think it probably is..!

12 comments:

ADRIAN said...

Because you are still a kid at heart. I used to fell run but now do a few miles at a time and enjoy the scenery.
Wish I were still like you.

Big Oak said...

Trevor, you described pretty well my feelings toward cycling. Perhaps it is genetic, the desire to push a little farther, to see what's over the next hill.

I don't think there are too many of us out there.

Alan Sloman said...

"... to walk the length of South America...."

What??? Tell us more! Fascinated!

Steve A said...

Ours was the last generation to be allowed to do such things, and we're all better for it.

[prove]

limom said...

Your post made me think of fishing in the rain.
Seriously, why?
Even more seriously, why not?

Trevor Woodford said...

ADRIAN*
My other half is always telling me that I haven't grown up, but at my age now I don't think it will ever happen!

BIG OAK*
Glad I'm not the only one.

ALAN*
In short: Marriage split-left job-walked solo from Punta Arenas nr southern tip of Chile to Paita in Peru just short of Ecuador. (I'd had enough by then). Took just over a year out.If we meet up at a BPC AGM will tell you more.

STEVE*
I agree- It's a big shame that a lot of youngsters today miss out on all of that.

LIMOM*
It's true- all experience is good experience in my book. Life is for living. Thinking about things is fine as long as you do what you think about.

Mark said...

There is a side to long distance and endurance events that is hard to describe - it is about spirit and endurance in a different sense to the physical. Cycling can be full of fellowship and banter but the best rides have a deeper dimension and you achieve that only by pushing yourself. Mike Cudahey wrote superb book about running the Pennine Way in 3 days (!) called Wide Trails to Far Horizons - you would enjoy it (available on ABE books)

Trevor Woodford said...

MARK*
Yes I certainly think that a major factor in long distance and endurance activities is (in the final analysis) connected with the mind.

I will get hold of a copy of the book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Chandra said...

I don't know the answer to the question, but I say being active is the way to be.

110 miles as a lad, eh? Wow --- good for you!

Peace :)

cloudbusting2 said...

In the cold air doing hard work all the other pains go away unless they are serious. That´s the good point but my cycling is so sporadic these days that I don´t know really.

l' homme au velo said...

Good Day to you,I just popped over from my Blog. The question of why do I Cycle I dont know,I have always Cycled since I was three Years Old. First on a little Three Wheeler, then my Sisters big Three Wheeler since she had lost all interest in Cycling.

This was when I was only three, I would go off for Miles and they my Parents would send out a Possee to try and find me. I got fed up going on the Path so I went on the Road instead. This was way back in the early 1950 ties so no Porte le Casque/ wearing the Helmet. There are not many People in these Islands now who would let their Child go off on their own at three and without the Dreaded Plastic Hat.

I still Ride Bicycles after all those Years. I had a Brief Sojourn with a Car for about 4 Years in 1985 -89 but still Rode Bikes. The Car was costing me to much and I just did not need it as I lived in the Centre of Dublin City and the Parking Metres were beginning to make their prescence felt so I got rid of it.

I am still Cycling but why,I suppose it is a way of Life my Life. It is just too Ingrained in me to think otherwise.

lynnef said...

Exactly! Well said!