Quality or Quantity? That's the question foremost in my mind when it came to thoughts of bike mileage these days. A certain amount of quantity is definitely needed but mindlessly riding miles and miles, comparing fastest timing and distance at just about every ride? Nah...
For far too long, time been spent not riding correctly. Far too much has been an ego at play, pitting head on with others in a ride. To what end? Strong overgrown muscles but wired with bad habits.
A long stretched out solitary ride vs a group ride is a different thing though. Brings me back to last nite conversation when it was brought up how different a single grasshopper is from a locust swarm. Its just many individual critters where on their own they are prety harmless but when grouped together...
Was settling with a few ridiculously short rides in the last few days a good idea? You bet! Half the time pedaling was not even involved but the other half is furious cranking with intent focus thru tight winding never ending turns. Sort of an assessment to see if what I have realized and learned can be put to real life riding. Better, but still a lot more to fine tune. Now when I see someone trying to ride hard but seated the entire time, there is an urge to shout out to them. But then who am I to comment, so better keep mouth shut and just ride my own ride.
For now I'm happy, finally know what it means to lean the bike correctly and obtaining the grip from the side knobs. Every degree the lean gets closer to the ground but wheels are yet to wash equals an added dose of adrenalin. Improved riding.
More importantly its one of those little things that one feels good. Just like re-mastering a proper bunny hop from those long past BMX days but on heavy long travel mtbs now. That momentary feeling of being 14 again instead of 41 when both wheels gets off the ground.... there's really nothing quite like it. Just dont remind myself of the countless evenings spent at the void deck during that relearning process with people gawking. Claustrophobic island thonging with people everywhere... sometimes you just have to ignore and not be bothered. Focus, practice, practice and more practice.
And off those beaten trails back on tarmac... big fat knobbies and full squishy is still the rig of choice. Bike never fail to get those stares but that's not the point. Its just being more practical. Rode the roadie last Wed, on the way to the meet up location with the others, had to fight the urge of turning back and hang it up, never touching another road bike again.
Roads in Singapore are just bad these days. Missing or too wide drain gratings, increasing blocks of assassinating road work carnage joining foces with imbecilic drivers to edge the last millimeter available to cyclists. Navigating on thin rubbers feels like walking some circus tight rope. My solution is a combination of both, take the road when its clear and pop up the pavement when things start to jam up... No stops, well except at lights of course.
The hell with the possibility of a $20 fine for pavement riding , sure beats a $20 000 medical bill.
Not that I'll ever reach the skill levels of pros like Ryan Leech, Martyn Ashton or MacAskill but with a bit of offroad and street/trials riding skills thrown in, it sure beats sticking 2 wheels on tarmac all the time, relying on colorful lycra to get noticed.
Ok sky's clear now, time to go back down to the void deck and practice some 180 pivots and wheelies to add to the repertoire...