"I am flooded with dread before every single event, as I walk around muttering, 'Why do I race? Why do I put myself through this? I hate this. I'm not going to do this anymore. This is it.' Then I get to the venue and am immediately sucked into the excitement of the event at hand. Once the race is on, I'm almost 100 percent happy. Don't get me wrong, I have my rough spots and I certainly suffer along the way. But there's no place where my mind is as quiet and I feel so 'in the zone' to dish out a trite, overused phrase as I do when in the midst of a race. The outcome is secondary--it's the actual event I love. In the end, that's why I race." -snipped from here.
My thoughts exactly. I couldn't have said it better myself.
If you need more race perspective (as in, putting it in proper perspective for us amateurs), check out this article from The Everyday Athlete.
And if the thrill of racing isn't enough to get out and ride, there's always the joy of seeing your odometer change over . . .
from this . . .
to this . . .
I got this CatEye when I got my bike back in August 2005. Once I got my indoor trainer the odometer function became less accurate (since the sensor is on the front wheel), but this mileage includes miles on the rollers as well as on the road. This milestone passed under my tires during my last 50 mile ride.
Regardless of the actual number of miles it represents, the fact is that I've done at least 10,000 miles on my bike. And it's pretty cool to see it (even if it means losing my tenths-of-a-mile).