Drive My Bike


Permission To Slow Down, Captain?
July 25, 2008, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When I started bike commuting I had no idea that it would put me on such interesting psychological journeys. Allow me to explain… I’m a pretty driven individual, and I push myself a lot. I push myself to grow. I push myself to succeed. I push myself to learn. I guess that is not all bad, except that I am learning that there is a dark side to all of that. I have discovered that when I am not pushing myself I begin to feel like a slacker. In fact, I think I actually have a fear of not pushing myself. The result of this is that I don’t think I ever really relax and enjoy the now. I’m so busy worrying about “the next thing” that the present goes right by and I miss it. The cool part of this is that my bike riding has helped me see this about myself.Stopwatch

Several times recently I have felt kind of burned out with my riding, and I have really had to force myself to go for that next ride. I have also started to notice some mild discomfort in my knees after some of my rides, usually when I have pushed myself harder up a hill, or tried to better my route times. In response to these problems I decided that I was probably pushing myself too hard, and I needed to slow down and let my body catch up a bit. I also began to realize that even though I had ridden my daily route quite a few times now, I had barely noticed the surroundings on the way. I was always so focused on getting to my destination, and pushing harder and faster, that I didn’t really enjoy the ride.

So… I have officially given myself permission to slow down, and I have really been working on focusing on enjoying the ride, rather than how fast I was getting there. I have to say that it has been difficult! I have started out a ride at a slower pace… but then… within a mile or so I convinced myself that I was fine… and was back to pushing myself as usual, often ending with the “burned out, sore knee” feeling from before. It also seems like every time I commit to slowing down I encounter another biker on the road, usually on a speedy road bike, and I am compelled to try to keep up with that person, even though their bike is geared faster and weighs less than a third of what I am riding! But, all is not lost, as I have had several rides recently where I was able to really let go and just enjoy the ride, and it was great. Ironically, most of them have been my night rides, which is kind of funny because my first night ride was probably one of the most difficult rides I’ve had since I started bike commuting. But my last couple of night rides have been a bit cooler, and yes, I was tired when I got finished, but it was a good kind of tired, and my knees were stressed, but not really painful. Best of all, I actually took the time on the ride to notice things around me. I remember now, I really like riding my bike!

So, I’m still pushing myself, only now I’m pushing myself to not push myself.

Permission to slow down, Captain? Aye, that’s an order!

Do any of you relate to this? If so, leave a comment and let me know.

Advertisements

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I read something about sore knees and biking that really helped me. At one point my knees were in a lot of pain. I read that spinning at low gear, rather than using the heaver and faster gears, trains the knee for the correct range of motion without putting stress on it. Spinning strenthens the knees and trains it. The article recommend preseason spinning prior to pushing yourself. Anyway it really helped me… along with some ibuproferon!

Comment by bikingbristol

When I ride my road bike I am driven, I “ride it like I stole it” and will pass out on a hill before I get off and walk.

But when I commute by bike to and from work, this is my time to enjoy. I allow myself enough time to take detours along the way, time to think, and enjoy the view of life from the handlebars. Sometimes I use my commute home to push my physical limits as well, but I also keep in mind cycling for me is about making time to have fun and enjoy life in an otherwise hectic world.

It is all part of how I manage my time. And yes I do push myself and I am sometimes over driven.

Comment by Bob

Hey guys, thanks for reading, and thanks for your feedback!

Comment by Scott




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: