Well I rode 190km today, not hugely unusual but it did take us nearly 7 hours. And we stopped for lunch and we talked a lot and we didn't go hard and we waited for everyone at the top of the climbs.
The funny thing was this was the perfect ride for me today, exactly what I needed. I was surrounded by the people who'd been about when I first emerged on the cycling scene as a skinny yoof with no idea what I was doing. These guys taught me how to fix a puncture, how to drink on the bike, how when and what to eat. What to wear and how to wear it ( apart from our hideous dayglo yellow team kits which looked more like we were digging up the roads than racing on them). They're all different ages, classes, genders (well I suppose there are fewer varieties of gender and we didn't have any trans gender riders so technically not ALL) and backgrounds and all we share is a real pleasure in rising our bikes. Some of us are elite bike racers, others are just cyclotourists and I'm pretty sure some of the latter ride more than the former. Mark said he'd done 300 miles in three days this week and he's been doing that kind of nonesense for longer than I've been alive! I hope I can knock out that kind of mileage in my retirement!
Now I'm not suggesting you stop for beans on toast on every ride, or average 150w but sometimes your head is more important than your legs and getting your head fit takes more than intervals. You need to recall WHY you love riding your bike and how much fun it is riding roads you don't know with people you do.
But seriously the beans on toast are massively underrated, I was stomping on the way home!
-yep typed it with my thumbs: they're what makes us better than apes