Is it purely about competition, or is it simply doing a sporting activity in a way that is more than just a workout?
I want to say that I am. I don’t compete – I’ve already posted that I’m not a racer. To be sure, when I see another rider up the road I want to catch them. Badly.
I have done a century in the past (2006) and would do another one this September if not for a scheduling conflict. I may be a Fred, but I’m a Fred who has done his share of miles.
One thing athletes do is train. I don’t like to ride just to see the sights or burn a few calories. I like to wear myself out and burn 2500 calories. When I see a long flat stretch of road I think Time Trial – high steady effort just short of blowing up.
I look forward to climbs. I may not climb fast, but I enjoy it. There’s a masochistic bent among us riders; it’s the joy of the pain. If I don’t hurt, I didn’t try hard enough.
Even in winter I’m on the trainer on a regular basis (3-4 times per week). Here in upstate New York that’s a solid 5 month block. If you’re not a dedicated rider, you can’t force yourself on to a trainer that often. I actually look forward to it.