I like going fast. There, I said it.
Give me a lightweight road bike (even an old one), a good bunch and an open road, or my MTB and a twisty piece of single track to test the limits of man and machine and I'm home. Lately I've been hanging out with a pretty different group of cyclists to those I usually ride with. I recently fell in with a group of people who love all the urban aspects of cycling. Now, I'm always one for meeting new people and I'll talk shit with anyone, but rolling around with this crew, while fun, kinda just made me realise I actually like going fast.
I guess cycling is different things to different people. Me personally, I like the camaraderie of a club, pushing myself physically and mentally, riding trails with a group of mates and the 'oneness' that only comes from riding in a well-controlled bunch on the road where everyone is on the same wavelength.
I've never been one to be super competitive. I enjoy MTB racing for the social aspects as much as the racing itself and while I enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry and banter on the trail I'm not the sort of person to take myself too seriously or rudely blast past someone yelling 'Strava run!'
Maybe my boredom with the urban cycling scene has more to do with my dislike of the city in general, maybe it has to do with other people trying to define cycling in political terms. As DrunkCyclist says, you have to remember, "it's just riding a bike." The last few years in Sydney, NSW have changed my experience of cycling dramatically. The antagonistic cycling laws introduced by the NSW State Government have cast a shadow of criminality over riding a bike. What used to be my escape now puts me in the spotlight as some sort of political activist just for going for a ride. Every ride is now an act of defiance. Having cycling wrested from me and having a political element added to it sucks balls, but the position that move puts me in as a cyclist also sucks. It's tiresome, fighting the man with every pedal stroke. I just want to ride. Fast.
Header photo: De omloop - Peleton by Stijn Hosdez on Flickr