Remember the time before social media when all the bragging and story telling about the big ride happened over a beer on the patio? These days, the chest beating and tall tales of accomplishment have taken to the web especially in the Stand Up Riding communities. It’s so easy to keep up with other riders because of forums, Facebook groups, Twitter and apps like Strava and Map My Ride. It’s fun to be able to see what others are doing and discuss the upcoming ride or event. But a word of caution about getting sucked down the “I-should-be-doing-that” hole. If you want to be really successful in your riding accomplishments, then ride your own ride.
It’s difficult to listen to all the banter and see the big accomplishments posted up without wanting to do the same or out-do the last guy. There’s some human nature in there combined with a little inherent competitive spirit. And if that’s who you are, go for it. But realize that the bigger success is staying focused on your specific goals and accomplishing what you want to do. If you want to complete a century ride, then train accordingly and have at it. But if that’s not your cup of tea, set a goal that works for your specific needs and abilities without bowing to the desire to be “seen” online.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, not everything translate over the web when talking about a “Stand Up” ride. For example, a century ride is a hundred miles which is difficult to do and an admirable accomplishment. But what people don’t talk about is the elevation gain, wind speed, average ride speed, altitude and weather conditions during the ride. These can play a huge factor in the difficulty of an already difficult ride. Trust me, all centuries are not created equal and everything is not as it appears online. A little friendly competition is a great motivator and bragging rights are fun, just don’t let them be what drives you. Ride your own ride and be proud of reaching your personal goals.