I can sum it up in three words: Freedom, Community and Aspirations.
Cycling is truly an interesting sport, you need a team to succeed, but there can only be one winner across the finish line.
It’s a solo sport as much as it is a team sport. Likewise, you can enjoy cycling solo or with a group. There are no rules except obeying the traffic rules for obvious reasons.
It is a struggle to wake up at ungodly hours to cycle, especially if you are a night owl like me. But once I get on the bike and start pedalling, it’s all worth it. The roads are quiet at 4/5am, the wind in your face as you jolt your system awake, you feel alive. Each time I get on the bike and witness the dawn break, I can safely say no two sunrises are the same.
I get to decide how fast to go. I choose where to go, and it’s just the world and me. There’s something extraordinary and uninhibited when you hop onto a bike and go. You take in the fresh air, the sights and sounds, and in good or bad weather, you just roll with it.
This cycling life changed me, well, at least my sleeping habits.
Some days, I make new friends, and some days I simply enjoy the company of familiar faces.
Cycling with people faster than you is a surefire way to improve (rather than riding solo), I can feel my lungs exploding and legs burning as I try to keep up with the pack, but it’s all in good fun. You reciprocate the people drafting you in front by taking turns to pull. Although, of course, sometimes you want to only stay at the back, that’s fine too.
It also takes the whole pack to fix a puncture. Some are do-ers, some are supervisors, and some are providers, but you can’t do without any of them.
Joining a cycling club has shown me what a community really means. Cycling unites all of us, and whether it’s chatting about races, routes, gears or techniques, you see people from all walks of life connecting with each other through their love for cycling.
We share stories and experiences. We laugh together and forge bonds, pedalling along together through life.
When you spend so much time doing something you love, it’s only natural to want to get better at it. Never mind the KOMs or QOMs; having people pacing you and wanting you to get better is one of the biggest motivators. And it gets passed on — riders helping other new riders because they had received help from others before when they first got started.
It inspires me to be a better friend, to be a better cyclist and a better human.