Why do I cycle; why do I sometimes ride so far?
There are a many reasons why I thought I needed to get out on my bike:
Getting away from it all
Listening to Mark Beaumont talk about the mindset behind endurance riding struck a cord. He said life for most people is fairly straight forward, we have challenges and it's not easy all of the time. But mostly we move from day to day without pushing ourselves.
I don't ride around the world like Mark, or even close to it. And I have issues I need to deal with that are a challenge.
I do set myself personal challenges. My photography had some: to get better, obtain paid work. I achieved them to an extent. Ultimately I wasn't prepared to take the risk of becoming a full time photographer. I accepted this and moved on to photograph what interested me, rather than what might lead to paid assigments.
Cycling has become my focus; initially it was to raise money for the therapy centre my wife attends, then to get fitter. It's now a way to test myself. Hills to climb, distances to complete.
I am nearing the limit of how far I can go in the time available. On Saturdays I have six to eight hours. At my pace that's around 112 miles.
It does leave me yearning for longer trips; how far can I go in a day? The problem is finding a route that's interesting, and not just a "get it done' slog.