In light of recent (read as gone on way to freakin’ long) news and interviews in the world of cycling I thought I would add some positivity to our beloved sport. Things to know before reading…
- I have not been a “competitive cyclist” for a year yet so what the heck do I really know
- I hate drama so I pretend like it is not happening by shoving my fingers in my ears and tap dancing
- Coffee is really kicking in already so this could be like reading a crack junkies journals
Remember when you were a kid and you learned to ride a bike? What an accomplishment that was and the world was immediately different. You had wheels and freedom and speed and streamers on your handlebars if you were really lucky! At first just riding up and down the street under parental supervision was all it took to make life so exciting. Soon my riding turned into meeting friends and riding to the boundaries our parents had set up for hours and hours. Then of course we had to build ramps and try catching big air that was probably more like 3-5 inches but hey I felt like I was flying. Riding bikes were fun and that was the end of the story. I was hooked.
A little later in life I found other hobbies that took me away from any physical activity whatsoever so there went bikes all together… sad face but hey this will come around I promise. I eventually (a year and a half ago) began cycling for exercise and that was the first time I had been on a bike again since I was probably 12. Did you know that even though it had been (cough 16 years cough) a large amount of time it was just like riding a bike. I knew that in order to stay upright I just had to keep moving forward. Side bar: Ok is it just me or is that some kind of analogy for life?
Anywho, I immediately loved riding my bike again. My lady parts maybe not so much but Helga has come to terms with my new hobby and hates me and my bike less. Since I was a “runner” at that time (read as a woggler = walk/jog) I started to see the differences pretty quickly when I got back on the saddle. Those differences then turned into me joining a team and becoming a racing junky. But here for you now I shall bullet point some of the reasons why I feel so positive about this wacky sport we call cycling.
- Some of my best thinking happens when I am pedaling. It can be just you and your bike with an open road/trail ahead of you with miles and miles of thinking/de-stressing. It’s like therapy but cheaper.. kind of… sorry Dr Amanda 1.0
- While biking you can opt to not pedal for a moment or six and still be moving along. If you were to stop running and try to coast you would now be standing still. Sometimes a coast or draft is a beautiful beautiful thing. Thanks again Lanier Allen, Tami Burke, and Sharon Madison for the view of your Naked butts yesterday…I enjoy them more than you probably know!
- Even on your hardest day on the bike you still just got to ride a bike and that is a priceless privilege that should not be forgotten
- You can make a ton of friends and if you are as lucky as I am some of those friends become your family.. not in a polygamy kind of way but more like a Sister Sledge “We Are Family” way .
- You get to see parts of the world from view points many people don’t get to. Yes you might have to climb to see them but it is ALWAYS worth it at the top
- Flying down a mountain pass that you just conquered makes you feel like you are 9 again ramping off of a dirt mound with your wonder woman cape on
- Pushing yourself to your limits and overcoming something you weren’t sure you could is unlike any other high
- Getting to sport your team kit for the first time is the coolest feeling. I raced several races this year before my kit came in and I remember so badly just wanting to squeeze my bod into that Naked lycra… it was like Christmas when they came in! I took off of work early so I could go pick them up myself because I wanted mine first.
- Lining up at the start line with all the training time, preparation, nutrition, dedication, adrenaline, nerves, vomit that is running through your brain and veins at that moment can seem unnerving but then at that very moment when you are considering wetting your chamois your teammate leans over and makes some smart @$$ comment about planning to rock out with her _____ out and you forget all that other stuff and just crack up laughing. It’s the funnest time.
- Getting to be a part of something NOT about yourself but about your teammates/friends/family and their aspirations and dreams is so rewarding. If you can then help them in any way it’s the icing on the Powerbar, which are delicious btw. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about your team and those wonderful individuals who love cycling just like you do and work as hard (or harder) which makes you want to ride even more and with your whole heart.
So yeah I went all kind of sappy and off topic and I made another pot of coffee but hey don’t judge me. What this all boils down to is I have decided I like bullet points when writing and wanted to try it out. No really seriously yeah there is some junk clogging the engine of the sport but it is so not about that. It is a weird and hard time to be called a competitive cyclist but it’s not about that. I didn’t start riding my bike to be cool like, insert any pro name you would like, I started riding my bike again to get some exercise and to feel like a kid again. Because of those two reasons I have found out who I really am as a human being. I am a dork, a bit OCD, have a fake it till you make it mentality, not a climber but secretly like it, a team player, a wee bit competitive, a Facebook stalker, a need for speed wanna be sprinter, flats are my friend, curbs are not my friend, my high fives cure many problems, start line jokes are my thing, I like a challenge, I like to be pushed, I love my bike on a good day and on a bad day, I love the sport, I love love love my team.
This sport is so exciting and contagious I only wish more people knew that and then everybody would be doing it! This team is unbelievable and I tell people all the time I feel like I won the lotto by getting to be a part of it. The friendships on the team and from the other women racing out there… I don’t have the words to describe. It is a community of hard work and respect and smiles and laughter. You get out of it what you put in to it and it can be life changing. Can you tell I am biased and hooked?
There is my attempt at positive rambling today. I really hope you get to ride your bike today. If you need someone to ride with let me know. I love riding my bike.