2022 is already half over and, as for many, time flies by very quickly for me too. Now I even have my first holiday this year. Now I'm an open book and people don't even ask me what I'm going to do during my holiday, it's more like a confirmation: "You're definitely going cycling again! Of course, I don't deny it and try to spend the time usefully, as already said, it flies by and in previous blogs I have also written about enjoying it. That is also what you should try to do.
Enjoyment has also been achieved this year. There are already a number of beautiful rides in my Wahoo history. Of course the Ardennes are not missing in that; I have made beautiful tours in Spa and Grand-Halleux on the MTB. People ask me if it is worthwhile to make such a long trip for those few (45) kilometres in Spa? YES! It is definitely worth it. When others are still in bed, I get up early to get on my bike after two hours of riding. Why sleep when I can also do fun things, especially when the days go by so quickly anyway. We/I try to do this as much as possible and grab every opportunity with both hands. Last Thursday, 23 June, we took the CXP bus again to follow our guide Johan, this time on his racing bike. We got the real holiday feeling and saw some beautiful views.
The nice thing about practising several disciplines is that you can alternate what and when you want. If the weather is really bad, I sit inside on Zwift. Sometimes I do a training, sometimes a group ride with the Peeltrappers and sometimes just a route in Watopia. But most of all I like to go outside, get some fresh air and enjoy nature. Sometimes on the MTB and sometimes on the racing bike. And even then, there is a lot to choose from. I have already done MTB tours such as "Limburgs Mooiste" to start the holiday and "The Hell of Ede-Wageningen" to end it all.
In the spring, I had a set of wheels that I still had lying around rebuilt, so that I can use my MTB as a gravel bike. It's a completely different experience when you're drifting through wet corners with gravel tyres.
It is also often a good time on a racing bike, especially when the woods are impassable due to stormy weather. It is nice to cycle along at the Den Dungense Brug or Coudewater, to make a tour around Groesbeek or, as was the case this holiday, to make a 200+ kilometre journey via the Posbank, which you can access from many sides. And then we have the Tuesday evening and Sunday rides with the club.
There is so much choice and there are actually too few days in a week, even during the holidays.
BIKE MY DAY
Then there was Bike my Day, during my holiday, in which Cyclexperience was represented by two teams. I was in team 2 and was also able to cycle some 165 kilometres that day. This was a very nice event (for Stem Cell Donation, more about this can be found on this site) and very different from a standard ride or tour.
Another thing I enjoy doing, and have had the opportunity to do a few times this year, is assisting with the clinics given by Cyclexperience. Working with people and sharing my passion by accompanying them during exercises and a tour and giving them tips and tricks. Yes, yes, you will probably already be thinking: "At least Marc knows how to fall". That too, haha, and it is also nice to see how people react to that when I am explaining something with scratches on my arms and legs.
Actually, every day that I go cycling is a holiday. People sometimes say that I train a lot, but I don't see it that way. Each ride is a ride in itself and I just want to enjoy each ride. Sometimes relaxed and other times hard work. I can enjoy both just as much. Of course, when you set a certain goal, you work towards it, for example by making hours and/or metres in height. Even then, I see the individual rides as a ride in themselves, so that if the legs are not willing, I have not immediately missed a "training" and there is pressure on. It also makes me very flexible in the choices I make, because as described in this blog, there are plenty. And then I just choose what I feel like doing the most and I have another great day!
EVEN MORE VARIETY
Together with Nicole, I added a nice spontaneous weekend trip, two nice days in fact. Beautiful routes made in preparation and put on the Wahoo Elment. On Saturday, we cycled about 100 km from Uden to Vlodrop. Nicole on her Specialized Como and I on the MTB. This goes very well together in terms of pace. I can cycle on and Nicole is not completely exhausted when she arrives. The return route on Sunday went largely over gravel paths and roads and through a completely different environment, while we were not far from the outward route as far as the eye could see. So it was nice to enjoy a varied environment and also a different cycling experience.
For me, it was also nice to kick back and relax..... The previous Wednesday, I had raced a real cycle race again. Actually, I was only going to watch it, but it still tickled me and I took out a day licence to get a taste of the competition element again. The nice thing was that after 28 years some automatisms came back spontaneously. Moving up just before the bends and shouting "high" in the bends because you are going to pass underneath. I don't know if this was strange, because I haven't heard anyone else do this. This was a really cool experience and maybe I will do more. Maybe it will be training after all........