Everyone has a story for 2020. Everyone’s world has changed in some way or another. One part of my journey on this disjointed year has helped me understand ‘why I ride’.
In March I flew back to Australia with the uncertainty in Europe, I enjoyed spending time with my family but struggled with the calendar of races being cancelled, I focused on other goals off the bike and this helped me focus on the bike. The question of ‘why I ride’ popped up. I returned to Europe to restart the season at the end of July. I then crashed out of my first race back suffering concussion and a broken collarbone. Mentally I focused on the positives and I worked hard to come back from injury but that question of ‘why I ride’ popped up again. I knew this wasn’t because I didn’t love what I was doing, it was because I needed to deal with this changing nature and ‘loss of control’ I was constantly facing. I realised I had to dig deep and find out really ‘why I ride’ so I can continue to get the maximum out of myself.
Over the past ten years or so my season has been similar, always planning my next race or training block and optimising the phase I am in such as; base work, intensity, training camps, altitude camps, recovery phases. Even making the most out of offseason and family time. Then the world wide pandemic through me out of this cycle and instead of just resetting the goals to new races, I questioned the very notion of ‘Why I ride’. Did I really love it? What do I love about it? Why do I suffer so much in training? What am I training for? Do I need a goal to be training hard? What gets me excited about bikes?
Pro cycling is a big part of my life and while I really love my team, the biggest races on the planet and the opportunity to represent my country. I realised that I ride bikes because I love the challenge of this sport and all that entails, I love the adventure. Exploring all corners of the globe by bike is my dream, taking in different cultures and countries powered by my legs over a frame and wheels gets me excited. Along with sharing my experience and insight to the next generation cyclists, so they can reach their dreams. The world’s changing nature has shown me that the ‘routine’ of training for a purpose with a goal is important, the real ‘why’ to me for riding my bike is to challenge myself and explore. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to ride my bike each day as a job and continue to pursue growth as an athlete and as a person.
When was the last time you challenged your routine, ‘why’?