THE BIKE

No it’s not another IRONMAN race recap of the bike portion of a race. I mean, how can you really want to read about someone’s 112 miles of being on a bike? Let’s see…the course was a.) hilly b.)flat and fast c.)some of the worst roads I have ever laid a tire on.

I felt a.) awesome until mile 88, b.)I peed on the bike for the first time c.) I PR’d the course that I have never ridden on.

Excuse my snarkiness. But really it’s just about riding a bike and having fun. Right? Or maybe not. From some of the posts I read (and I don’t read a lot of blogs anymore as I don’t have the time, nor do they interest me as I have been riding bikes (not casually) for many years, but some people complain about how sore they are, how they hate hills and how damn HARD cycling is. I wonder then why exactly are you choosing this sport?  I love it. My bikes have taken me places that I could have driven to, but why? It’s so much better on a bike. I commuted to work and then to graduate classes after work for years in my lycra in the 80s. Went to work and then got in a 20 miler after work just because. We are surrounded my mountains. Would I rather ride up than drive. Hell yes. Would I still commute the 26 miles one way on my bike if it was safe (and a little shorter). Yup. But it’s not, so I don’t.

My first bike was pink. It was put together from parts of other bikes my parents retrieved from the local dump. I am sure before it was painted pink it was three or four colors. I loved that bike and rode the mile or so to and from school, to my friends’ houses on the weekends, over to the pool in the summer and just up and down the street because I could.

I saved my babysitting money later on for a “real” bike. A baby blue Murray three speed. I took that bike all over the countryside with a good friend of mine as we took photos with our ARGUS SLR cameras for photography class in high school. I would ride Route 43 into the next town (7 miles) to visit my boyfriend who worked at his uncle’s gas station. And then I would ride home. No helmet. No lights. My mom said “be careful”. (WHAT WAS she thinking???)

I was hooked at 16 and continued to commute into town to attend college. I remember riding in the snow to get to a 7:15 class one morning only to find out that the class was cancelled because of the weather. I found it incredulous that others couldn’t get to class when I had ridden there on a bike.

Long story short- road biking led to longer and longer rides and  I would ride 100+ miles on the weekends just “because”. I wasn’t training for anything in particular. I just loved (love) to ride. I still do. I bought a mountain bike at age 50 and actually prefer running into rocks and cacti over dodging cars anymore. It’s a different mindset, but I still love to “hammer” on my aerobars in a triathlon.  Riding a bike doesn’t make me special, and I hope to never be called “inspirational” because I am doing something that really doesn’t mean anything, except what it means to me. And  to me it means fun, fitness and freedom. Which I guess is a lot.

Ride on.

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