I have been putting off getting on a road bike with my dad and brother for a long time now. But after last weeks inspiring mountain bike day out with my good friend Lee I decided to make a call to my dad to arrange a date to make a return to the dreaded thin tyre road bike. At this point I should mention the road bike has been a menace of mine for some time. I use to ride my bike alot when I was younger. At 16 I went to college which was an 8 mile journey there and an 8 mile journey back. I had to pay a steep price for the bus or get on my bike. Riding 8 miles or 16 miles wasn't the problem. The problem was my bike. Nooooo. Not really, the problem was ME. I took the cycle path with an average bike and I had to compete with every single speedy cyclist that tried to take me. I was in competition daily! Sure they had a £1000 specially designed road bike with the cycling outfit to go with, whilst I was wearing my heavy college gear whilst riding a cheap hand me down road bike, which of course I was grateful for. My point is I didn't care if they had better gear, my athletic pride was being tarnished as they gushed passed me. I was so competitive which isn't a bad thing as long you don't put yourself off the key ingredient of cycling...ENJOYMENT!
I stopped enjoying cycling as fast as the guys who passed me. I use to kill myself to keep up with them. I couldn't handle defeat!!!
TODAY it was a small cycle for MJ but a giant cycle in the right direction. My attitude was different. My mindset changed. I expected nothing of myself. I went out with 2 extremely strong minded cyclists today for what was meant to be a so called gentle non competitive ride. We ended up averaging 21mph!!! The fastest I have ever averaged. My first time on a road bike in a long long time! We got to Bath in 13 minutes 30 seconds give or take a few seconds. I'm buzzing still. Now I understand what my dad meant by the buzz cycling gives you. The Johnson trio worked as a team today. My little brother Billy absolutely smashed the last mile. He left me and my dad for dust. If I can compete with no expectation and take all in my stride then the true athlete potential in me could rise and enjoy and relish every competitive encounter. Who knows I may have to put this mindset to the test. I fancy more challenges!
I didn't win the race this time but I feel stronger for next time! Maybe next week?... watch this space
Here's to healthy competition,