Originally Posted by Lone Rider
Do you feel a sense of accomplishment?
If so, by what or whose vaildation?
I don't think you can complete these kinds of rides and not feel like you accomplished something. But I try to do rides that inspire me or interest me. I did a SS1000 in September, with the summit of Pikes Peak as the turn around point. Last January I did one all in Texas, all on small state highways... no interstates or big highways. Route planning for that was harder, and the ride took longer than sitting on an interstate... but running 500 miles out on an interstate, and turning around and running 500 miles back home, does not really interest me.
I feel like I do these rides for myself. I am always excited to get a new IBA certificate in the mail. But after I read over it I put it in a three ring binder where I keep all the certificates, along with maps of each ride. And the binder goes back on the top of the bookshelf. Nothing at all wrong with displaying the certificates. But I just stash them away. I did the ride for me and no one else.
Earlier you brought up the need some feel for respect. It is true. There are some riders who lord their accomplishments over others, or feel they are due respect because of what they have done. This is probably true in any sport or profession. When I was in my 20s I was much more egotistical than I am now. I might have said the words "put up or shut up", back then. Today (at the ripe old age of 37) I believe that what I have done is meaningful for me alone. But I do not expect non-participants to understand it or for anyone to give me any kind of respect or applause because of it. I didn't do any of these rides for anyone other than myself. I would hope that others respected me for being honest and helpful, for being willing to help wrench on a bike or lend a hand, etc...... But why should anyone else care about the rides I have done for myself?
I appreciate your thoughtful questions. It is making me think through why I enjoy this kind of riding so much.