When you really think about it, the ride is not important. Not the most important, at any rate.
You could go anywhere, see anything, and amazing as it can be, it’s nearly always better when you can share it with one or more like-minded friends. Yes, of course, the location can make the experience better or worse, but either way, with good company, the highs are higher and the lows don’t seem quite as low. When it does get bad, shared suffering is as strong a bond as any, and reminiscing about the experience is significantly more fun if it doesn’t have to take place inside your own head.
As far as epic rides on skinny tyres go, the Haute Route sits pretty nearly at the top. Six days of some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world is accompanied by some of the most iconic and punishing climbs in cycling.
Unless you’re that rare breed that loves the solitude of battling the self through prolonged suffering (any ultra-distance athlete…), it’s nice to have someone to keep you company and maybe even help you out of the hurt-box, or at least cheer you on you when you get to the top of each climb. On a ride like the Haute Route (or 3 Peaks), it’s not even necessary that you know them – it’s often enough to have another person to ride next to or even near-to, to get you to the next check-point and across the finish line. That’s what I usually take away from these kinds of videos.
While organized rides are great in their own way, there are an innumerable number of epic rides that can be as long or short as you like, can take place on any day of the year, and in any location you fancy. Sometimes solo missions are just what the doctor ordered, but most of the time, for me, like the guys in the next video (thanks Drunk Cyclist), the good times multiply when friends come along.
Header image: source
P.S. I’m heading off to Lorne with the chaps for an enjoyable ride along the (closed to cars) Great Ocean Road, courtesy of Amy’s Grand Fondo. In other words, I’ll not likely have anything up on Monday. Back with the regular schedule on Wednesday.