I’d been waiting patiently, for a long time now, for that first shoe to drop. You know, the one where cycling actually becomes work. Or at least that the fitness side of it makes me feel like the “It’s time to make the donuts” guy… Yeah, I pretty much gave up on waiting for it to happen, I don’t think it’s going to.
I went out for a second ride yesterday, just 16 miles, but I was absolutely into that 16 miles. It was gloriously sunny out, not a cloud in the sky all day, and at about 75, the temperature couldn’t have been more perfect for cycling and we barely had a breeze. Yesterday was one of those days that had me grinning within the first quarter-mile. I hit it pretty hard right out of the gate and completed the first 10.3 miles in just 30 minutes, including stops – for that route, solo, that’s really fast. I’ve got six stop signs and two stop lights to contend with in those ten miles. I hit my favorite right turn, a down hill residential right hander, no stop or yield signs because you can only follow the road along the turn, at more than 23 mph… It never ceases to amaze me how well the Venge corners. Compared to my 5200, the Venge should be illegal it can corner so well. On the 5200 I’d have been on the brakes so I wouldn’t drift into the oncoming lane. With the Venge, I took it full speed, in the drops and hitting the apex just right so I went from outside to outside of my lane. Cars slow down to 5-10 mph to make the turn.
I stopped in to the bike shop to say hi to everyone and while waiting for the huge crowd to thin, I picked up an awesome Specialized long sleeve, full-zip jersey and a pair of shorts that were on sale. On the way out, a fellow had his two young sons there shopping for some accessories and as I walked by I heard him say, “see I told you that was his bike” to the youngest… I stopped, turned around and asked the little fella, who is probably used to riding a bike that weighs twice what mine does (and that’s if it’s a kid’s Trek MTB) if he wanted to pick mine up. He looked at me as if I were crazy, so I said, “go ahead, I’m sure you’re plenty strong enough, it’s a really light bike”. So he came over, all 7 or 8 years of him, grabbed onto the top tube and lifted it up over his head. The look on his face at being able to lift such a big bike over his head was priceless… When I was a kid, that would have been a fairly profound experience for me. Who knows, someday that kid might be pulling my old, tired butt around the course.
From there, having already put in a furious ten after the morning’s twenty with my wife – and due to the fact that the wind blew in from nowhere, I decided to just spin it back easy for the last six miles. This has been one great year of cycling for me and I’ve let go of the need to improve and embraced more of a maintain and enjoy, end of the season, style of riding.
I love my cycling label – what they call people like me, who have found a love for cycling that most simply won’t or can’t fully grasp… Who manage to enjoy some pain and suffering with their speed and throw in some distances that most think of as simply silly, while being able to also just enjoy a nice spin with the wife or a game of bike tag with the kids. Cycling has a special name for people like me:
The call me an enthusiast.
Yup, that’s about right. If the s#!t fits, wear it.