I will steal ideas, (I mean find inspiration) anywhere I can! In fact, one of the changes in myself I’ve mentioned more than once now that I blog, is I look for ideas. In the past, I might read something or hear it on the radio and think, “Huh, that’s interesting!” Now, its an automatic. If it grabs my attention I chew on it a bit to see how it “tastes.” If it passes, it gets designated at blogfodder.
That was this post by one of my former trainees and current Facebook fried Sara.
A Bird sitting on tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust in not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.
I read this, and the first thing I thought was “HEY that’s me!”
OK I am not a bird, and I obviously don’t sit on branches TOO often (though it is NOT unheard of),
but this applies SO well to my two wheeled adventures.
As I’ve told frequent readers, I look for a challenge every year. Sometimes it’s a new one, other times its one I did before, but I want to do better. Regardless, whatever it is I pick, I have my cadre of friends who tell me “YOU ARE NUTS”
The thing is, and I really hadn’t thought about till I read that quote, I NEVER rule out a ride because I don’t think I can do it!
Some are too expensive, or too far away, the timing doesn’t work, or I don’t have enough vacation time. ALL of these are reasons I’ve considered a ride, and then DIDN’T sign up.
But I can’t ever remember deciding against the ride because I didn’t think I could finish! Does this make me cocky? Well maybe. But I prefer to think about in terms of the quote. I trust in my legs, my cycling skill, my years and thousands upon thousands of miles of experience any time I saddle up.
I am NOT fast, which is why I don’t race, nor do I have any desire to. But I can climb anything. Fast riders will pass me on the flats, but uphill, I frequently stay with them and regularly pass them! (And let me tell you when I do it with panniers or a trunk bag on the bike, it annoys them to no end!) In fact, a route map with a lot of hills makes a ride more appealing instead of less to me.
And on down hills I excel! The goal is NEVER to touch the brakes! Gravity owes me a debt! It did everything it could to stop be from getting to the top. It makes me earn every inch, so when I top out, I wring every MPH I can back out of gravity. It is truly one of my favorite things in life!
Distance doesn’t matter at all! My record is 206 miles in one day. I will be equaling that this summer. This means many MANY hours in the saddle. (Last time it took 16 hours from start to finish, but there were times I was OFF the bike).
I will admit to being saddle sore at the end, but as long as I can point my nose in the correct direction, I know I will make it there eventually!
For the record, though, I am not some cycling god (In my mind or anywhere else!) I know, whatever the ride is I am going to do there is no hope if I do NOT train. I know right now I could go out and ride 40 miles no problem. But much more than that, I would be a hutin camper the next day. And today, my legs are NOT in century shape. I might if it was relatively flat be able to (and with a tail wind) but otherwise. Not a chance.
In April though? Oh hell yeah the legs will be ready! I couldn’t get to the top of Chinook Pass
today by bike even if it wasn’t closed for the winter. But by June, I will be doing so as a training ride!
Cuz you see, in addition to my trust in my riding skills, I also trust my training! I will log the miles and do the time needed. Why? Part of it is I have already paid for the Seattle to Portland, and I am a cheap SOB! The main reason? When I decide to do something I do it! There will be a cold beer, a hot bath, a soft bed and beautiful wife waiting for me in a hotel room in Portland at the end of the ride. That by itself is a good enough reason to keep these old legs moving!
But as important, I like to conquer the challenges! It keeps me from feeling like I am getting old, and proves I have a lot left in this old body!
So throw me your worst! I have appeased the cycling gods, and they smile on old farts that aren’t smart enough to hang up their clipless shoes. The Coug Jersey and I will be cranking out the miles! I am a leaf on the wind!