Tuesday, July 9, 2013

LimpStrong 3: A Report, Of Sorts

The short version: Yup, I did it.

The funny thing is, though, as I sat down to write a lengthy, photo-encrusted description of my solo 100-miler, I came to something of a humbling realization: The only thing less interesting than riding a bike for 100 miles is reading about someone riding a bike for 100 miles. I mean really: I left my house, rode 50 miles, turned around, and rode back. Got rained on a couple times, drank a lot of chocolate milk, ate a lot of salted nut rolls, and scraped up the bike once when I was dumb enough to lean it against something concrete (at which point it promptly fell over, as both the laws of gravity and Murphy insist that it must). Nothing epic, nothing worthy of Rapha-esque purple prose. Just a dude riding a bike for a day.

And that, dear reader, was maybe my most important "deep thought" of the whole activity, namely that 100 miles is little more than the odometer reading after 99.9. Did I experience anything more transcendent than if I'd stopped at mile 90? That last 10 was just an exercise in my own stubbornness, and I've already had a lifetime of that. It would have been a great 85-mile ride... or 70. Nothing about that three-digit number makes me a "better" cyclist or a "more credible" cycling blogger (a snort-out-loud laughable concept if ever there was one). It just makes me a guy who turned pedals until he turned the odometer that last tick.

So, after three successful iterations, I think LimpStrong may be done. Not saying I won't ever ride 100 miles in a day again. If I have all day to ride and I'm feeling good and it happens, it happens. But the goal of the mythical capital-C Century has kind of lost its luster. When I think of the great rides in my life, they're never the "big goal" rides. They're the little rides with little expectations that turned into something more: discovering a new road, feeling the unspoken connection two people can share through a tandem timing chain, or just ambling through the neighborhood on a summer evening listening to the cicadas.

The odometer can't measure that.

1 comment:

Pondero said...


The metric century normally seems to be enough when I want a long ride. And there are many perfectly delightful shorter ones. When I get tired/hungry/uncomfortable, I stop. The only thing I want to accomplish is fun.