Life lessons learned on your bike, that challenged you and pushed you, those moments you relive in your mind and make you crave more. What’s been your best day in the saddle?
Have you ever got back from a ride, with a smile from ear to ear and thought to yourself, “That was the best?” Maybe you learned how to change a flat, or got lost then found your way home. Those rides that are hot or wet or cold, that are just character building. Those rides where you laughed the whole way. These are the best days for me, when I share memories with friends, exploring new places, challenging myself, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, feeling the wind in my hair (helmet) and feeling the adrenaline rush that cycling brings.
There is something addictive and exhilarating about endorphins and the freedom of riding your bike, the feeling that lasts for days.
One of the best days I’ve had in the saddle was over the festive season. My friends and I spent a week riding our bikes in Victoria’s high country, based out of Falls Creek, Victoria. I’m not sure why this was the best day, maybe a culmination of a number of things an adventure in itself.
We spent 5 hours riding beautiful country roads, both climbing and descending picturesque, quiet roads through the Alpine valleys. For the first time in awhile I felt free on the bike, no pressures of life and work, no time restrictions, I just enjoyed friendly competition between mates, as we tapped along together. Many laughs were had, a flat tyre, and of course coffee stops. There were moments of animated conversation, and moments of comfortable silence where we were all just soaking up the scenery and living in the moment.
The best days in the saddle are when you are riding in your favorite places:
“Whenever I think of my happiest moments on the bike, I think about riding in Melbourne when I lived there. The cycling culture is unlike any other place I’ve been and there are always group rides heading out to the Dandenongs, along Beach Road, and over to Kinglake. Good friends, great coffee and excellent riding. So many happy memories!” – Nicole Justice
Those best days in the saddle, when you are surrounded by your friends:
“The days that make me the happiest are the ones when everything clicks. When my friends and I are in sync. Pacing each other up climbs, following each other’s lines down descents, taking turns in the wind. When you ride with the same people long enough you start to learn their style and their strengths. Then a natural flow develops. You’re all on the same intangible high.” – Jennifer Hannon
Those best days in the saddle where you just go out and ride, no pressure, no restrictions:
“Definitely riding through the mud trails from NYC to Croton Dam. Learning to let go, and just go where the bike goes!” – Ginger Boyd
So rally your friends together to plan the next adventure. An adventure to remember and daydream about when we are stuck at our desks on Monday morning. The ones that you keep reliving in your mind, that make you smile, that make you think “that was the best”. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, take some photos, upload them to your activity and relive the memories over and over again…until your next adventure, that is.
What’s been your best day in the saddle?
Share your story in the comments below or tag @StravaCycling and @MachinesforFreedom on Instagram with a photo and the hashtag #FreedomStories.