In my experience, there are two kinds of cyclists: Repeaters and Wanderers.
Repeaters are creatures of habit-they're content to ride the same roads, over and over. A repeater is the kind of rider that will surprise you with how little he knows about the roads in his hometown, because he only rides a few of them, ad nauseam. He is the experienced rider that can get lost almost instantly once he gets off of his beaten path.
Wanderers are the opposite. They usually can't stand to ride the same route twice in a month, let alone in a week. If you go out riding with a wanderer, make sure you don't have somewhere to be later. Eventually you'll hear, "I've never been up this approach to this ridge-wanna check it out?"...next thing you know, it's getting dark and you're out of food.
I'm a repeater, through and through. I am amazed at my capacity for doing the same thing over and over-on the bike and generally in life. I enjoy routine, and...well, I guess I just don't get tired of stuff very quickly. I can't remember the last time I didn't have oatmeal for breakfast. But, even so, every so often I start to feel the rut. It's usually about this time of year, after months of trainer rides. The routine chafes instead of comforts. I don't enjoy the bike as much and I need a change.
So this past weekend, when Wendi told me she was running a half marathon on the trails at Fall Creek Falls, I decided to ride over and meet up with her.
You might be wondering how far it is to Fall Creek Falls by bike. Well, I have no idea(It's far. Too far for me right now, at least).
My Garmin ran out of juice about halfway through. And I didn't bring enough food. Or water. And it was too cold when I started, and too warm by the time I finished. I didn't wear sunscreen. And I realized about two hours into the ride that my route was a guesstimate at best, and that I was planning on relying on my phone to find the way(you know where this is going) but I didn't have reception and my phone battery died.
Suffice to say I made a lot of mistakes that I should know enough to avoid. And I paid the price. That last hour or so was extra unfun. By the time I got to the park, I was tired, mad and sad all at once. I'll probably be sore until Thursday. But...I totally don't care. That last hour won't be what I'll remember. I'll remember how good the burrito tasted afterwards(whoever made that burrito should be knighted). How I may have had the best tasting beer of my life yesterday afternoon. I'll remember the new roads and the glorious tailwind that I surfed all the way to Murfreesboro. I'll remember that yesterday was the first day that felt like spring, and that I still just love riding my bike.
Even if you're not the type, you can still get out and wander every now and then. Just make sure your phone and Garmin are charged.