Is a great ride better than a great race? A few years back my answer would have been “No way!” Nothing can compare with the feeling of victory, standing atop the podium, the feeling that all that hard work finally paid off. The feeling of accomplishment does leave a very sweet taste in your mouth, however, the memories of a great ride with family and friends are unforgettable. Don’t get me wrong, being part of a great race can leave you on a high for a long time.
(A very competitive start line!)
However, recently I was enjoying a solo ride out in the woods and I started thinking about all the ups and downs that I have had on the bike. Surprisingly the memories that popped into my mind the quickest was not the victories or defeats that happened in races. It was the epic rides that I have had with my friends, it was the Sunday Funday rides I have had with my family, and it was the Daddy and Addie rides where I watched my daughter lose her training wheels, take her first crash, and clear her first jump.
(Addie learning to ride the obstacles at a local single track)
So now I would have to say “Yes, a great ride can be greater than a great race”. This is because my great rides are rides that I have shared with my family and friends. It will be those times on the bike that I will remember the most when I am old, grey and sipping sweet tea under a shade tree.
(A quick selfie before our Daddy / Daughter Sunday Funday ride)
Also, when I do catch myself thinking back to past races my thoughts are many times towards events that took place before or after the race instead of the race itself. Many times I can tell you what funny things happened while enjoying a post-race meal or while camping with family and friends on a race weekend, but don’t actually remember much of the race itself.
(Hanging out post-race with family & friends.)
So with all the memories that cycling has and will continue to give me. It appears that the fondest memories on the bike will reflect back to those involving family and friends more so then those of races.
Thanks for reading.