What have I become? I think most everyone would agree—not much. And I would be hard pressed to argue with them, but in this case, I’m referring to the lack of outdoor riding I’ve done of late, and the absurdly high amount of indoor riding I’ve done. That’s just not me. Then again, the numbers don’t lie, I think it is.
So far this November I have ridden in the Not So Stankment 10 out of 14 days. Yes, some days the weather was complete shit, and some days time was of the essence, and there were a couple of days that my back was jacked up, and I did nothing at all. But today the sun was out for the first time in days, and the temps were in the low 30s. Not warm by any means, but I’ve ridden in much worse conditions and been warm and toasty (a thick layer of blubber helps). Despite that, today I found myself in the basement on top the Hammer for an hour trying to keep up with “cyclists” from all over the world on the imaginary roads of an imaginary place called Watopia. So fucking stupid.
I can’t begin to convey how in my heart I know this is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG! I ride outside; I take pics, I write this crap. That’s who and what I am, and I’m content with that. After starting my time with Zwift™, I think I realized some things:
I’ve never been a super competitive person. Even when I raced it was more about proving to myself that I could do it than it was about winning.
Along with the fear of failure, I think there was also a part of me that was so self-conscience that I was afraid of looking like an asshole to fellow racers. When I’m in the Zwift world, I’m just T. Soiled Chamois from America, a blob of computer graphics trying to hang on someone’s wheel and doing what I can to take my pulls at the front. If I get to the point that I can’t hang with J. Pärn from Estonia, then I back off, recover, and try not to puke on the carpet before trying to catch on with another group.
“Jason, why don’t you just do group rides?” Dude, I’m getting there, hold on!
I’ve done some group rides, but for some reason, they just never felt right to me (I go back to not wanting to come off like an asshole and the fear of failure). On top of that, I find many group road rides end up being a dangerous clusterfuck of riders scattered all over the road adding fuel to the Motorists vs. Cyclists fire. Then you need to add in me being on blood thinners and not wanting to risk a severe crash and bleeding, especially internal. No thank you, I’ll stick to my solo forays onto gravel or trails with my camera.
With all that said, I’ve pushed myself harder than I have in years during these indoor rides, and it feels pretty damn good!
I was getting a bit burned out with some of my gravel rides, so I started driving to other locations to expand my selection of routes. That takes time, and when you add in the extra time needed to dress for the cold, I’m just not that motivated right now. I will surely get burned out riding in the basement too, and when I do I’ll head back outside, hopefully with some added fitness!
Pics from this post are from a Tuesday’s post-workout walk in the woods.