Sometimes Fun Is Better Than Epic

by Andy Amick on July 3, 2013

in Cycling, Personal

Last week, I travelled to Nebraska and rode in my 4th NUMB Ride For Hunger.  Yes, I choose to take time off from my day job to travel from Colorado to eastern Nebraska for 5 days of relaxed riding.

Have I gone crazy?  I’ll agree that Nebraska is not considered one of the top cycling destinations.  For most people, it wouldn’t even register as a top 20 destination.

nebraska cycling storm NUMB

However, the thing we sometimes forget when riding is that it’s supposed to be fun.  Every day and every ride doesn’t have to be an epic adventure.  Sometimes, supporting a great cause, riding quiet country roads, hanging out with friends, and eating lots of ice cream should be the goals.

Granted, it’s extremely hard for me to follow this bit of advice.  I’m constantly dreaming up epic days, finding new mountains to ride, or following the Tour Divide race even as I write this.

When riding NUMB, a typical day involves finding coffee before the ride (Seward,NE has one of the best coffee shops), riding for several hours, a few stupid sprints while riding, and finding lunch in the destination town.  There is more time spent off the bike than there is on the bike for this trip.

Once in town, our small group dubbed “Team I’m With Stupid” relaxes, makes fun of each other, and comes up with a new set of inside jokes.  Of course, there is also a lot of talk about when to go get ice cream and how many trips we should make for ice cream.  In case you couldn’t tell, our group is not known for deep conversations, but we do have fun.

Somedays, epic is the goal and that drives us forward.  Other days, a relaxed fun ride with friends is better.  With everything being Strava’d these days, it’s too easy to make every ride a competition and lose the fun and enjoyment of a bike ride.  So, take a few days or a week each year for relaxed riding.  Take in the views, the smell of rain, and enjoy the country roads.

Who knows, you might find yourself visiting Carhenge or riding to the Nebraska/Wyoming border with a smile on your face and ice cream in your belly.  I’d call that a great day of riding.

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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