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I Rode Today

A cyclist in a commuting group which rides each morning at 6:30am, ruminates about his experience riding alone during the holiday period. Cyclists in a peleton, tend to get competitive and often compete with each other for minor breakaways. But there are other delights that await the solo cyclist, writes Ben “Bucky” Herman

I rode today… and I liked it a whole lot. Had a great time, and getting the Strava Kudos from you all, just makes the ride all the more sweeter.

Now let me take a moment and say, I rode today, albeit with a starkly different twist than the normal ER (Easy Rider) Commute group  model for riding a bike. One thing I’ve learned over time, is that the ER brand is hard to define at the best of times. We ride hard on the commute, yet only as fast as the slowest rider. So if anything we tend to act as a dichotomy of different neo-philosophies… but more on that later.

So how did I ride today? Well… I rode slowly. I looked around and smelled the roses while I road. I made a concerted effort not to go fast. I think my average speed was under 20 kph… which is how I like it!  Nevertheless, the climbs up the gorges were tough no matter what speed you do, and the weather was very hot.

I left the house after 8:00am. A little late for this time of year, but welcome change from the 5:30-6:30am starts that are de-rigour during the week. I love riding my bike in the heat, but am aware it sends my heart-rate very high. I am much more cautious in the heat as you would need to be.

I applied the brakes during every descent… and loved it. I saw a goanna in the wild, and I said hello to it.

I stopped in the valley at Galston Gorge, and said hello to the turkeys/chickens that congregate at the Walkers intersection. I saw no walking enthusiasts.

Bobbo (Bobbin Head)  was getting very hot, so I slowed down even more, and kept a steady pace. I loved it. I twisted my head around at every opportunity to see what was going on in the bushland. This beats focusing straight ahead… I was looking at the majestic views as I pedalled my way through my thoughts.

My thoughts ran free… mostly thinking about writing this email… an example of a random thought receiving expression in an action post ride. I rode by myself… which I love. I was alone in my thoughts. Had no worry about going too slow/fast with another rider. I rode and searched for that quiet place inside myself… I found it only 15 minutes into the ride… and lost it again, 2 hours later when I got home.

For you, my brothers and sisters of the pedal… you might also have ridden your bike today, however you did not ride like me.

Have a great break… and will see you again after the holidays.

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1 comment to I Rode Today

  • jim thorn

    Nice article Jenni. You’ve expressed my sentiments exactly. Riding on the other(south)side of Sydney, I rarely venture onto traffic congested roads but prefer to stay on quiet back streets and dedicated pathways. Exploring new areas of Sydney in this way always enhances my sense of freedom and solitude.