This cycling thing. Can be a bit boring.

Been doing this for 25 years now.

I don't mean constantly. I've not been cycling constantly for the past 25 years. Had some days off now and then. Like most people I fit it in when I can. Night rides, Sunday mornings, even ride to work now and then, or take a bike on holiday. Keen as mustard, sometimes owned 11 bikes at the same time.

Of late I've just been bored of it all. Been questioning the why of it. It's just riding in circles isn't it? It's Sunday, you coming out? I know people who go out for rides to avoid other stuff in their lives. That's just running away. I don't dig that kind of motivation. Be a man, face up to stuff first.

Perhaps also this is a function of who I ride with. PP seems to be getting addicted to riding, out all the time doing the same loops. Each to their own. I like doing other things from time to time, shuffle life's pack. It's hard asking somebody what they've been up to of late when you already know the answer.

The magazines don't help.

Here in the UK we only have three mountain bike magazines. Roughly speaking each follows the format:
  • Articles on entry level £5,500 34lb bikes.
  • Articles on cheap £4,000 bikes - are they up to the job?
  • Joke articles on sub £3,000 bikes - really, do people ride this shit?
  • Articles slagging people off for riding anything other than bikes advertised in the magazine.
  • If you don't exclusively ride trail centres, what a loser!
  • Historic look back features on the silly bikes we used to ride - steel or alloy frames! Sub 30lb!
  • Ti frames bikes with hints that we should be visiting the toilet for personal time with tissues...
  • Route guides for places miles away - and if you do try and follow said guides, you soon realise they've not actually been there themselves.
  • Tips on hucking that 60ft road gap.
  • Photographs of people with arms severed or faces ripped off. This is true.
  • Ride guides to Patagonia. This is also true.
I'm only partially making this up. You should read our magazines. Depressing things for people that don't actually ride mountain bikes. Of course, I do realise a magazine that featured the things we do would hardly sell.
  • Multi-functional cycling shoes: which ones can you ride in that are also ok for building or gardening work?
  • Keeping your 2002 26" alive via eBay.
  • Bimbling; your guide to sub ten mile rides with pub stops.
  • Ride excuses: top ten that work.
  • Comfy saddles for lard arses.
  • Road riding: WTF?
  • Hills. Really?
  • Slippers.

It takes me ages to wake up now.

Reigate Hill in the snow

Take today for instance. Woke up to sleet. Can I be arsed to go out? Nope. Wife says I said yesterday I was going to go out. She says her day is planned and I'm not in it. So I get the fat bike out. That's not the right kind of motivation either.

2 degrees C at home. It'll be colder up on the hill. Dress up warm.... Which is all relative given I only own Five10 shoes. It's OK going up and along. Feel almost warm. Very wet, very muddy. Ten miles later, stop for coffee as the cafĂ© is open. Rather gorgeous girl served me, so all is well. Eventually drag myself out as for some reason she's not interested in me. Figure the thirty year age gap. Or my grey helmet hair. Or my paunch. Or my wearing the same cycling top as I had on the other day, unwashed since. Her loss.

Ice not nice.

Return journey, ah now I see. Wind was behind me before. Now I've got ice in my face, stinging. Any flat surface gradually gets covered in ice. My gloves, arms and face. It goes down the inside of my jacket when I go through the tree cover. My face starts to hurt. Ice gets into my eyes. That hurts.

Lots of water, everywhere. No ice on top, just water? Yeah, right. Think half frozen slush, and I'm wearing Five10 shoes. May as well be barefoot.

Golfers out. How do they find their golf balls in this?

The dog walkers are miserable. They say dog walking improves your fitness. Possibly, but not your outlook on life, not if this lot are anything to go by. Naturally some don't control their dogs, and I ran over one. Big squishy tyres, dog OK.

Coming down the hill I was in pain. Ice in my face. People laugh at my tyres in a good way. I like that.

I'm still a bit bored of this cycling thing. Today, however, was anything but boring. Give me the extremes over average repetition any day.