We wake at 5 am, shower, eat breakfast, don our kit, helmet, socks, shoes… and slap a smile on our face. One hundred miles, give or take, are on the docket for today.
The breeze we create with our forward progress blows through our hair as we form up into our pace line….
The sun combines with the cool air to produce the strangest sensation, somewhere between a full blown sweat and goosebumps. Over the next five hours, give or take, we go through fleeting moments that range from struggling to hold the line to pure bliss. Holding on to the old adage, “never quit when you’re feeling bad”, we press on. At certain points along the ride we stop to fill up our water bottles or grab a bite to eat. The 5-10 minute break does us good and the jovial nature comes back again.
There are ups and downs but we look out for each other. We help each other out when one of us is struggling, whether with words of encouragement or providing a draft, because the simple fact is, we like riding together more than picking up the pace to put the final nail in the coffin.
Cycling, at least the way we do it, is more than just getting a workout in or burning some calories. Cycling is the activity we use to not only work our muscles but to work our friendships as well.
Not only is this a time for friends, we involve the entire family as well. My daughters attend the last two days of DALMAC and cheer all of my friends as they come up the wall. My wife rides down to meet us and ride back with us… We have snacks together and spend time laughing about the weekend’s events. We plan other camping trips as well, that often involve the family. Social “ice cream” rides or just trips around a long block.
Cycling is a lifestyle, more than a mere fitness activity, where we celebrate our love of the outdoors, cool bikes, and friends and family and usually around some really good food.
Sure beats slogging to the gym to move a few weights around after spending the day counting calories.