Well, this is such a wide topic but I think I can boil it down to Community, Experience and Enjoyment. That does sound a bit poncy doesn’t it?
- Community. As I’ve mentioned before, somehow I’ve managed to fall out of the habit of riding with people, partly because my main source of miles has been commuting. Actually that’s not quite true, I’ve been commuting reasonably regularly with my brother in law on account of our wheels heading the same way at the same time, but my weekend riding has been limited. I’m not expecting an overnight change either but I do think that most physical activity is improved by having people to share in the social experience. It’s not just the riding though – the Moles have always been at their entertaining best when active online and I’m trying to lead the way here with lots of regular articles planned. I would also like to encourage anyone who wants to contribute to get involved… more makes more after all.
- Experience. We’ve done all sorts of bike related nonsense over the years and this year I hope will be no exception. I have quiet plans to re-visit Bedgebury when (if) it dries out as we haven’t been for years. Wales is a perennial favourite and I quite fancy either a bit of South Downs Way riding or perhaps some form of Surrey to Brighton ride? I’m also planning another day road riding round Boulogne (followed by that meal I missed last year), and have discovered that the Eurostar/TGV can get you a long way cheaply across the near continent. Might there be a chance here to try a short trip away? Any other suggestions folks?
- Enjoyment. Well, it’s always nice to buy a new bike and I have one lined up thanks to Cycle 2 Work. The question is, what to indulge in? That’s for another post really as here I’m thinking of enjoyment more broadly. Not just the bikes, but the riding. I’ve already said I’m aiming for social, but I’m also aiming for more riding that I enjoy. I’m not averse to a bit of ‘Wooo!’ but I also really like simply covering the miles. I think there’s a place for a bit of good ol’ fashioned XC riding without trying to Enduro things up too much, especially as the Surrey Hills is not the highest, steepest or rockiest place on the planet. No problem if people want to challenge themselves but I think heading out for cake is an end in itself!
So there you go. It doesn’t sound like much but when you add it all up, fun and good company always trumps bike spec. And I think that’s how it should be.