It's endemic that a big day such as kicked off my August cycling (see post) just makes me want more of such days. Sure, I whined on the ride. But it wasn't long - maybe bed-time that day - before I was thinking of ... well, maybe not longer days but more long days. Long days in the saddle. This lunacy was abetted by the arrival of the recent American Randonneur, with stories of brevets, fleches, and 1200k rides.
The reality is that the week following The Longest Day I had to scramble to get in my weekly 100 miles. The following week, I did not reach 100. My cycling miles accumulate from Saturday through Friday. I figure that on a good week I'll get in 2 long-ish rides, so let one count for the start of the week, and the other bat cleanup, so to speak and to mix metaphors. A good Saturday ride this time of year will be 60-70 miles with the Wheaton guys (I've missed all of their century Saturdays). A Friday ride will normally be solo; only one this summer was a full century (see post), and now with the changing season and its consequent changing work challenges I'll probably not see another solo century Friday this season.
Still, for all that, I have to say that pleasant cycling does not require long hours, fast miles, or new routes. One day last week I had the rare occasion of riding with my brother Ron, working in town for a couple of weeks and we both knocked off work for the afternoon to ride and then enjoy supper with the family. We took a tried-and-true Illinois Prairie Path route: the Geneva Spur from east to west, pausing at the river, gliding into downtown Geneva and the park there by Mill Race Inn, then home again. The leisurely steady pace, beautiful weather, and brotherly conversation ... surely cycling is also at its best on days like this!