There is no easy or single answer to that question. Is the pleasure derived from biking the lack of suffering when it’s over or is it the pleasure when it’s happening?
This is a question I asked myself quite often. I know many people will say they enjoy pleasure and very few that will come out and say they enjoy suffering. However, it seems that somehow we are drawn to that part of biking as well. We are not alone; the same could be said for runners, swimmers, and tri-athletes. I know that I do not wake up in the morning and say I can’t wait to go out and suffer for a couple of hours. However, when I get on my bike there is no question I’m drawn to push myself at times to enhance my fitness level, reduce some anxiety or simply see a larger number on my Garmin. In either case when I’m done with my ride, part of the enjoyment is that I am no longer suffering.
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This may sound very confusing for non-bikers and I’m certainly not saying there is not a time and place for a nice leisure cruise. However, when I go out for a ride, especially on group rides, I know part of what I am fearing and seeking all at the same time is pushing my body to its limits. It is hard to explain to my friends who do not ride, but I now crave and need that feeling to fully enjoy the rest of the day. There are three things I get from a good ride. One, I can eat more without gaining weight. Two, I will be more relaxed the rest of the day. Finally, I will sleep better that night. I represent injured bicyclists that have been involved in accidents for a living. So I know all too well the risks of being on the road. For me the biggest fear of getting in an accident is not being able to ride for an extended period of time. My point is if you are going to suffer, make sure it is when you are ON your bike. If you are suffering and not on a bike, then you should contact me! Ok, a quick plug for my office. How do you feel about suffering on the bike?
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Lawyer and Enthusiast,