It's all epic...
Epic is a term that we use a lot these days. Epic Films, Epic Fails, Epically Awesome and, of course, Epic Rides.
What it means to me, and to Le Sportif is important. It is something we have talked about when out riding (we talk a lot of drivel when riding together).
“..Narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the past history of a nation”. Seems a bit strong for most bicycle rides, doesn’t it? Deeds and Heroism, Legendary Figures. Blow it out your saddlepack I hear you cry.
Despite the fact that Epic is so Epically overused there are some things which it really does encapsulate, some of the great rides that I remember of 2014 and hope to recreate in 2015.
Distance is one aspect. Sportives are making their way past 250km and even beyond 300km, Epic! Some people really love the pain. We managed a 270km ride in 2014 which damn near broke me. But for some reason I loved it so much, I wanted more the following day.
Speed is another factor. Going so fast on a descent that your skin ripples, or cornering so fast your tires squeal. I love it.
The Pump! Made Epic by Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Pumping Iron’. The man is crazy, but the principle is sound. The feeling of bashing up a hill as fast as you can, the muscles working in your body to the point of exhaustion and then the gratification of reaching the top - in whatever kind of ground up mess you achieve. Epic!
Camaraderie. Cycling to me is split between being a very solitary place and a place filled with friends. When on your own, your only companion is your bicycle. You enjoy your own pace, thoughts and time. But with other people it changes. Perhaps you add an element of competition, or shared appreciation for your surroundings. Confederates in enjoying the moment.
Atmosphere. Your surroundings obviously play a massive part of how great your ride is. An amazing view of a mountain range, the ocean or rural lanes and rolling hills. Shadows flickering over hedgerows on sunny afternoons. The sound of water tumbling down narrow gullies over rocks.
Everyone finds their own reasons to call a ride Epic. Whatever your mix of Heroic Grandeur - Enjoy it, You Legend!