Epic is a word used often after a bike ride, but it isn't used for every bike ride. Epic lies somewhere between the best and worst times you can spend on a bicycle. Often within that ride you will have experienced both the highs and lows, the requirement to push deeper and to find a new strengths and reserves. This isn't just for the tough and challenging parts, but also the chapters where concentration levels need to be brought to an all time pinnacle. These rides shape us, make us grow in a way that we would never have thought possible. They enable us to build a reserve that allows us to face the next challenge with a confidence which is bound in the experience of the Epic Ride.
Epic is another way of defining the word hero but to be frank a hero is another thing all together but we need another way to describe events that transcend our comfort zone. An Epic ride is one that is not often forgotten, whereas many rides just pass into kilometres in bank, the Epic ride will be one that is recounted for years to come like our very own version of Homer's Iliad.
Best Ride (no chain) > Epic (the place between embracing the greatest and worst) < Worst Ride (the day you hate the bike)
There is another place where the word Epic resides, and that is in Adventure. Sometimes a ride where you get lost enters the realms of fun, exploration and joy but there are also times when this can be stressful if you can't find an immediate solution. Usually the Best and Worst scenario can be thrown into the mix but not just from the point of not physical effort but the mental one required also to find a solution to the problem, be it finding your way from being lost or working out will you get home in the required time before the bonk sets in.
In essence the word Epic in relation to a ride is difficult to define, and depending on our experience it will be very different. It isn't something that you are able to create, but it is something that the wrong, or right turn depending on your perspective, can start a chain of events which unfold to lead into this Epic Ride. Does having an Epic ride change us from being a person who rides a bike, to being a Cyclist or a bike rider. I think so, as there is a connection based on your experience which is as real and tangible as breathing itself and all of a sudden the bond of love is formed, which may wain at times, but like the waves of the evening tide they come back again and wipe away the scars left in the sand.
I have had many of these days on the bike in both sunshine and rain, on Mountain and Road. The stories are all very different, but within that story being told the phrase will always come up 'that was an Epic Ride'.