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A Million Miles an Hour

It's been a little while since I last wrote a blog due to my exams but in that time i've spent a lot of time on the bike trying to clear my mind in between revision. In that time I had to reduce my training load to make sure I was fresh enough to read through a text book each afternoon. Reducing the intensity of my riding allowed me to relax slightly and look around a little more at the roads I was on to appreciate the views around me rather than staring at the statistics on the screen. This got me thinking - In todays fast moving and time pressured world, do we still find the time to appreciate what's around us or do we have to make the most of the time we have and keep looking the stem? Like most people I have a job that means i'm out of the house from around 7:30am each morning and not back until at least 6pm when you take into account commuting to and from work. This means that the time we get to spend on the bike is often squeezed during the week into an intense training session on an evening after work attempting to get in as many miles as possible in as little time as possible. Then on a weekend things don't get much easier when you're trying to spend some time with the family or catch up all the jobs that didn't get done during the week. Throughout the entire process the squeeze always happens to the hobbies and fun things we want to do in life.

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The problem squeeze on time is that you don't get the opportunity to look around you whilst on a ride or run to admire the backdrop and gaze across the valley or through the trees that line the roads and tracks we follow. Instead, our eyes remain focused on the road ahead or constantly glancing down towards the grey screen of our Garmin's as we push ourselves to go faster to get home before the time runs out.

The sad part of this is that we often miss the best views around us including those on our doorstep whilst we focus on our day to day life. Having the time to spend taking things easier for a week showed me this and make me realise what I was taking for granted every day with some great views around me in the Yorkshire Dales.

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Once a week, or even once a month it's great to get out on a ride without a target speed, or a timeframe and ride to enjoy riding, looking at the views around you and getting to know the countryside around you instead of looking at the darkened tones of your stem. It's tough in the lives we all have now but it's certainly worth a try even if it means your average speed for the week drops by a mile an hour.

So I challenge everyone to take one ride in June and relax, look around them and maybe take  photo of what they're missing. I've included a selection of photos i've taken below that made me remember why it's not always about the bike, but sometimes is all about the ride.

Sometimes just stopping in a farm gate has the best views...

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Or the climb through the trees when you go 2mph slower....

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Sometimes when you wouldn't normally stop for a break...

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It's worth taking a kitkat...

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So get outside, take your phone, and snap a photo!