Think I can Hell! I KNOW I Can!

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),

Key West Tree

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). 

honey bucket

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

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!

image

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