Category Archives: Road Cycling

Longest Ride To Date

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Today was a good day. A really good day. I’ve been getting into cycling for over a week now, and am enjoying everything about it.

Sundays are deemed a “long ride day”. Only the second Sunday, but a colleague and I were planning to have our long ride today but she ended up cancelling. It worked out as I’d thought that I needed to spend time by myself and a good way tp do that was to go out for a ride. I rode from my home, a few miles, with the intent of being a loner but as I rode past the usual Sunday morning meeting spot I saw two people and decided to ride with them. They were a lovely older couple who usually ride on Sundays from 6:30a. Being a newbie to the sport, they gladly welcomed me in as they themselves aren’t too speedy on the wheels, but they were fast enough for me to train and build my long miles and endurance with.

We set off at 6:19a with the aim of riding to the Frank Sound dock. During the ride they kept encouraging me, and giving me short tips on road etiquette. The ride itself was great. At the stopping point, another group of cyclists, whom we’d past at their first stop at a gas station, met up with us and had light chit chats of introductions. As a group we all decided to go further about 4 or 5 miles more to another gas station point. During this ride I was impressed that I was able to keep up with a speed of between 18 – 21 mph.

We refilled out water bottles and stayed at that spot for about 10 minutes before heading back. But it would be on this ride back that I lost most of the energy that I had on the way up. On our way down I realized that I did not eat the energy bar in my back pocket, this i instantly regretted. Lesson for next long ride. As thought, the gap between the group and I became wider and wider. I did try to speed up, but couldn’t hold that pace long enough to catch up so I decided that I would just spin my legs home.

When I finally reached home, my bontrager bike computer said I had ridden 33.1 miles. Wow! This is the longest ride to date. I was proud of myself. Proud that I got out of my comfort zone and met new people, rode a longer distance than planned (which also showed me that I could do it) and enjoyed the scenery. It was a very good morning.

I am thankful.

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She Cycled Alone

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It may not have been a perfect ride this evening, but I don’t care for perfection. I care for the heart behind the imperfect. Of course I am making that statement because I am quite imperfect, but my love for others and life is true.  That and I try to overcome my mistakes, not always making the mark but I try.

This evening I had my first, real solo ride!  Really this was supposed to happen last week but other things was given precedence.  This week I just felt deep in my heart that I desperately needed to refocus on myself and those things that I enjoyed doing, those things that I shined in. By “shine” I don’t mean that I excelled competitively in, but that one could so easily see that attractive joy in me. That infectious joy that also could spread to others.

Today was my first step. Not that I needed to explain the rationale behind my not going to boot camp, to others and as another firsts I didn’t give explanations.  This was for me, a little selfish, but well needed.  I was nervous and initially thought of all the bad that could happen to me on the road, by myself.  While there is some truth, what I decided NOT to do was give in to that common fear that grips me at times.  In a sense I brushed it to one side, while quietly acknowledging the realities, instead I focused more on the “good” that can come from going out on my own today.

As I reached home from work, I rushed just a bit to get ready: proper clothing, check.  Helmet, check.  Water in bottles, check.  Bicycle looks and tires feel sound, check.  House door locked, money in pocket, phone in armband – off I went to discover the unknown that awaited me.  Little hiccup in crossing the road, but not a dramatic one. Ok, I was on my way. I had an idea of where I wanted to go, and took off there.  

I really can’t say that I had a “Jesus” moment, and I certainly didn’t set out for one but I did find peace and joy in myself.  Just enough to wet my cycling palate for more.  Being solo also without music, allowed me to be in the present and to enjoy what was happening without additional worries and fears.  At one point I did feel FREE.  Free to be ME.  Sound corny? Well the truth is that I’d lost part of myself in trying to be something that others would love and want to love.  But realizing that that would never happen, the only other alternative was to let go of that train of thougt by accepting its reality and reclaiming what I’d given up. 

I confess that I can and do make a mess of things from time to time. Remember I said I was not perfect?  But I do try to have the right heart towards a thing, even if in the beginning I am stubborn.  But on this evenings ride, I felt that I was forgiven. That in spite of the mess I’d made over the weekend, I was still loved. 

Nah, I don’t believe it was a “Jesus” moment. But it was a moment that I could face the mirror, seeing the good and bad and still walk away joyful and positive that strength for tomorrow will be had.

Today was an awesome day.