Cycling is my Sport

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I officially did my first real ride for the year yesterday. It wasn’t optimal weather. It was in the mid 20’s, but worse than that, the wind was blowing 20 something mph. I didn’t really feel that bad. I wasn’t good by any means, but it could have been a ton worse.

I thought I was going to take a bunch of time off. I guess I sort of did. But I think I “need” to ride every once in a while for mental stability. I don’t think a little bike riding ruins a rest type situation. I hope not.

I didn’t realize how much I need to ride. Right when I initially clipped in, I loved the feel. I love the position. I love the movement. Even with sloppy, salty spray coming off my tires, I was nearly in heaven.

I was a little worried that I was not missing my bike enough. That wasn’t the case. The case was I had forgotten, in such a short period, how great the feeling is.

When I got home, I relished the glow I had from riding in the cold. I don’t get the same feeling from running or nordic skiing. Cycling is the only sport that makes me feel that way. I’m not sure if it is the endorphins or what, but it feels great.

Cycling is my sport. I chose it way back. Now it is engrained in my soul. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


11 thoughts on “Cycling is my Sport

  1. Wildcat

    My parents raised me on a bike and I always went along to races growing up. I didn’t have a choice. It was just our routine for the weekends. If they wern’t waking my brother and I up at the crack of dawn for a bike race, they were waking us up for a 10k or whatever my mom was going to run. I have fond memories of them dropping me off in the middle of no where Kansas because they needed a corner marshall for the Bazaar road race. That might have been back in the Toto days, but it’s hard to remember. I was maybe 10 or so. The instructions they gave me were – “When the bike riders come, point that way!”. I always had my wrist-rocket with me. I loved doing target practice with fence posts or whatever using rocks on the side of the road. Then I followed suit and raced as a junior and then raced throughout college. However, when I was finishing up my degree – 1.5 semesters left – I got my GF (now my wife) pregnant. Within the following year I had a baby, graduated college, got married, started my new career, moved, and bought a house. Needless to say I was busy. Between getting my career going and helping with the baby and unpacking boxes I didn’t have time to ride that year or so. I think it took a whole 18 months until we were completely unpacked. Anyway, my fitness never worried me. I was young – and on my feet all day I did a lot of walking, but what ended up making me crack was my mind. I was way stressed. I remember having an argument with my wife late at night one day and I just said, “Fuck it, I’m going on a ride right now”. I think I remember it being close to midnight. It was at least after the evening news. And off I went. I didn’t go far. We live 5 miles from an interstate highway. I rode to the nearest overpass and just watched the traffic go under me for a while and then I rode back home. I have never felt so relaxed. In my head. That year and a half off the bike nearly made me go bonkers and I didn’t even realize it. Since then, no matter how busy we are – I always find time for a ride. Even if it’s once a week. That’s the minimum for me. Once a week. Sometimes it’s still only 10 miles or so if that’s all I have time for. But for me – it’s that mental release that is so important. Being on a bike gives me a feeling that I have only recently found one other place. And that’s sitting in a duck blind at 5:30am in 20-degree weather – surrounded by the most pure quiet you’ve ever heard, sipping coffee and watching the sun rise.

  2. Christine

    Me too! In 2008, after almost 14 years after my last race, I decided to race again. I never totally gave up riding my bike, but was also doing a lot of water-skiing and weight lifting. When I returned “whole-hog” to racing, I quickly realized how much riding and RACING mean to me & my overall sense of happiness. Much more than any other physical endeavor – and I’ve tried many. The best part is that, even at 53+, it’s still possible to race at a very high level! Just need to be smarter about, training, nutrition and RECOVERY! And yes, avoid injuries… I suffered 4 broken bones this summer. Happy to say I was able to salvage a few cyclocross races this fall… which is my newest cycling endeavor!

  3. Mark

    Enjoyed the story today, Steve. Today was my first ride in over 3 weeks after knee surgery. I just rode to work, it was 5 degrees but felt wonderful to ride again. Like seeing an old friend.

    Also reminded me about stories of patients with Parkinson’s disease experiencing a decrease in symptoms and improved muscle control after riding bikes. Its amazing what riding a bike can do.

  4. Skippy

    Today is the 9th day of the year on a bike . Getting funny looks riding around with bare legs in 10+C ! I even was haled by a local pedestrian , as i was finishing the morning ride . He was on the way home from Tennis in a Hall . He told me that normally he starts Cycling mid march , but was so inspired by my efforts , that he was going out Cycling after some lunch .

    This year Tirol weather has been crazy , i get more exercise Ski Touring when there is Snow , but Dry Sunny Roads are hard to beat . Pity about some of the Cowboys from Express Stoll who think that passing with mm is THEIR SPORT ! No doubt when they see the publicity i am giving them with the Internet , they will be upset ?

    Takes NO BRAINS to miss a Cyclist , i call it ” COWARD PASS ” see RightofWayAustralia in Facebook !

  5. The Cyclist

    At our age it’s more a life style than a sport, or maybe it’s an OCD. Or a beast inside your head that needs to be fed. It’s also a way to stay young a bit longer than nature intended. Only problem being that the moment you stop pedalling you fall.

  6. Belivelo

    Broke my hip in a stage race in july in the 50+. Pinned and screwed the next day. It took me a month to get back on the bike outside. First day was 5.5 miles at 11 mph. Hurt like hell but the tears were more of joy!

  7. Ettore

    My father let me enter my first race back in Italy when I was 10 yrs old and was hooked from that day! I joined my local Club in Milan, A.S.D. Cassinis Racing Club when I was 13. I came to this country in 1965 and entered school in the 7th grade and shortly got my ABLA license and started racing in local events. Make a long story short, I raced thru the 70’s and early 80’s and yes I did race against John Howard, Tom Officer and others until I quit racing. I am now going on 63 and don’t race anymore, cycling is and has always been a way of life for me and will continue until the day I die!

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