I love riding my bike, using it for errands, or just riding for fun. I love it more when the weather is nice. (Truth). I know there's wet weather gear and cold weather gear and lights for the fog/darkness, etc., but really, I'm mostly a fair-weather rider. And I *think* I'm okay with that.
Because I ride for MY pleasure, and the fact that stuff gets done along the way is inconsequential to my purpose for riding, I find myself feeling guilty, as if somehow I'm not doing it "right". The little voice in my head says, "You should be (fill in the blank)."
When we trained for the events last fall, I was pretty maxed out at 40 miles, and happy to finish. For one thing, the time sink drives me crazy. If I want to do a 40 mile ride, I pretty much have to jettison any other plans for that morning. By the same token, if something pops up (particularly concerning one of my kids) my 3-4 hour time block is no longer available to bike and visit with cycling friends.
I've tried riding with friends, but haven't found that sweet spot of friendship and cycling that is a reward in itself. I tried starting a meet-up group but that didn't last. There's a semi-local womens' biking group, but I haven't quite synched up with their ride schedules. And they live about 20 miles away -- I'm not going to ride 20 miles to ride 20 miles to ride 20 miles home and it seems a little silly to drive my car in order go ride my bike.
Does anyone else have these kinds of problems?
And maybe I'd want to go longer if I had a new bike. But how do I decide? The last time I bought a bike for myself was 1989. I was in Germany with the US Air Force and I bought a sweet Bianchi touring style bike. It has served well forever -- even toted a Burley with two kids at one time --I'm not inclined to give it up just yet. Got any ideas to help me figure all this out?