Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Riding A Bicycle

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down 'happy'.  They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." ~John Lennon

I do hope this really is something that John Lennon said. It's so true. There are so many others in life who are determined to make the rest of us as miserable and as unhappy as they are. As with many of the quotes that I start out with in my entries, this one has little, actually nothing, to do with what I want to write about today.

Today, I want to affirm the belief of all those people out there who think riding a bicyle is hard. It is. Not impossible, but, to be honest, it is hard. When I'm in the midst of a tour and I've been riding 100 mile days, bicycling seems to be much easier. That's because I've trained for the touring and I've built up the needed muscles to do the long rides every day. But...and it's a big one...talk to me at the beginning, when I'm just getting back on the bike from a lay off. Sure, I go to the gym and try to stay in shape, but, to be good on the bicycle, you have to ride the bicycle. No shortcuts exist; there is always hell to pay. So, make the time off the bike enjoyable so you can remember those times when you're climbing a hill wondering where in hell did those climbing muscles go that you used to have. That's what's going on in my life today. Recently, the weather has turned for the better and the warmer. I like it. With the warmth, I've been out on the bike again. Not long rides. Just testing the waters, y'know? Taking the slow, but steady, path back to being able to ride 100 miles on the bicycle. Right now, that seems very far away, yet I know I can do it and will do it. I try to tell myself that when I'm going up Snake Hill. It's at those times when I realize that people are right. It is hard to ride a bike. But I keep at it because I feel good when doing it, even if the ride is only 10 miles.

Getting dressed for the ride, getting the bike out, filling the water bottle/s, putting on the helmet and gloves...then taking off on the bike. It feels so natural, but the muscles are still trying to relearn what they knew not so very long ago. In order to stay in shape for the long tours requires that you keep riding. Whenever you take a break, even a day off the bike on a tour, you lose a bit. Not much, but it's noticeable. Really. So, to all of you who think bicycling is hard, you're right, but don't, however, let it stop you from getting on the bike. To all who give it a try and give it their best. Hats off to you. More on this later, after I'm up to 50-60 miles rides.

A tune to exit this entry with...The Commitments doing "Mustang Sally" with Andrew Strong, who was 16yrs. old at the time the movie was made, doing the singing. What a voice. What a movie. One of my top 10 flicks ever. Enjoy. BTW, this is one of those songs where, if you don't move or get up and dance while listening to it, have someone deliver your sorry ass to a funeral home. You're dead.