First off I’d like to state that I’m an amateur cyclist. I’m not a professional (yet) and I have a lot to learn and have a long way to go in terms of getting fitter. I’ve been flirting with cycling for the last 5 years or so, and early this year I took the plunge making it a serious obsession. This year I bought my first road bike, entered my first mountain bike race, and completed my first century. I don’t know what you think, but it seems like a pretty good start to me.
I can’t really put my finger on the real reason I wake up every morning thinking about riding. It’s not easy, and it definitely doesn’t make me popular. I live in a small town in backwoods West Virginia and most people think I’m crazy when the see me ride or when they ask me about how far I ride. Here anything out of the norm is unacceptable. But I think one of the main things that attracts me to the sport is how it pisses people off. Every time someone drive up too close, or a diesel truck covers me in a cloud of smoke, or someone yells and throws something at me or the people I am riding with from their car, I smile a little. It’s funny that something so simple can get people so bent out of shape. I guess their uncontrollable emotional reaction makes me feel empowered.
That’s another thing about cycling that keeps me coming back. When I ride I feel POWERFUL! I know it kind of narcissistic but it’s true. I see myself doing things that I know other people physical couldn’t do, and as terrible as that is, I feel a great sense of accomplishment from that. Is that a character flaw?
Along with allowing me to channel all this aggression, the thing I like the most about cycling is the sense of peace and balance that it gives me. After crushing out an hour and a half of interval training, the whole time wandering if I’m are gonna make it all the way before my legs give out, eye shut trying to forget how my legs burn, and suddenly it’s over and everything is so still. I can’t describe the peace you experience in that moment. Cycling also brings you closer to nature and I have seen some Earth Porn worthy landscapes on the the bike. It has helped to change my views on the world, especially on things like my carbon footprint and helping to fight climate change.
Call me crazy but this is why I ride. Always trying to get faster, and learning about myself in the process. So far it has started out to be a hell of a ride and I look forward to sharing the rest of it with you.