Today, while riding my bicycle, I realized how great it really is to be out on the open road, feeling the wind in my face and through my hair, feeling the bumps in the road under my tires, and just in general soaking up the outdoors. I love it. I just completely adore bicycling.
Years ago…about 7 years ago…I used to ride almost every day for about 25 miles each day. The furthest I ever rode was 33 miles. It was supposed to have been a 50 mile ride (Lance Armstrong’s Ride for the Roses 50-mile course), but I couldn’t finish because that 33 miles was about 75% uphill. I was, as they say, blown up. I literally couldn’t pedal another 100 yards, let along the last 17 miles of the route. Anyway, I want to work back up to riding 30+ mile rides. While I will most likely never attempt that 50-mile route again just because it’s location is inconvenient to where I live now, I do want to come up with my own 50-mile route…or even longer!
Anyway, realizing just how much I was enjoying riding my bike today and just how much I really, truly LOVE it, got me to thinking about why on earth did I ever stop riding on an almost daily basis in the first place. Well, what happened was life. I moved to a different town that wasn’t as conducive to bike riding. Sure there was country roads I could ride on, but they had pretty much non-existent shoulders and that is just not safe to ride on. And then, I had a slightly big bicycling accident where I wasn’t paying attention and ran my bike into a light pole, creating a weakening in the inner tube. On my way back to my apartment, the weakened area of the tube suddenly blew up and caught on the forks, launching me over the handlebars. That was pretty much the last time I rode for years to come because I then moved again straight out into the country where it was not safe at all to ride a bike on the back roads that were available to me.
Now that I’ve reintroduced myself to bicycling, I’ve fallen in love. It’s only been 4 rides so far, but I see many, many more in my future. I’m on vacation right now, so I can go biking as much as I want to. So, now that I realized just how much I enjoy it again, I’m sad that I have to go back to work in a little over a week because then I won’t be able to ride every other day like I’ve been doing. But I think I will start riding my bike every day I’m off work, which equals out to 3 times a week, which is a good amount. If I do the 22 mile route I did today each of those times, that’s 66 miles a week! Of course, I will think up new routes to try and challenge myself with.