It really seems weird NOT hopping on the bike this weekend. Aside from the week we were in Oregon, I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t get at least 20 miles in. However, sticking with my plan to start next weeks ride with fresh legs and the right mental attitude, it was good to have the bike sit in the shed.
Without riding, I was able to get a few other things done, including bringing up to date the album holding all my bib numbers from over the years.
As usual, when I do so, I flip though the pages to look at what I’ve done over the years.
With the Flying Wheels summer Century last month, I have completed 11 century rides! Some have been harder than others, for example the High Pass Challenge
Was much harder than the Round the Sound, even though I look happier after the HPC!
The prettiest spot to end a century was easily Pacific Beach on the Reach the Beach ride
But nothing can compare to the scenic beauty and overall splendor of the Crater Lake Century
I love looking at and remembering these rides. I can remember classic miles long downhills that make you feel like you are flying and suckass up hills that make you think your bike is rolling in wet cement.
Remember this though, from Sarah in Honoring My Compass: Sometimes there will be a downhill in your uphill! And this is true. The Bastard (my name for the 3 mile hill at 88 miles of the Flying Wheels) goes up for a LONG time, then you get a fun downhill, followed by a climb to regain ALL the elevation you lost and then some.
It would be easy to get mad at this, but I choose to embrace the downhill and “let er buck!” No brakes and relish the wind and relief for a bit. This makes the second climb much easier. If you fight and cuss it, then the hill might beat ya. The thing to remember is there is ALWAYS a downhill for every up hill! It’s one reason I go out of my way to climb them!
However, after looking at all of these, and even adding in my two Seattle to Portland rides. I realized that this combined is ONLY 15oo miles. Hell even if you add my riding to California from Astoria
That still adds up to less than 2000 of my over 16000 miles right now. Why is this a big deal? Well, as you might guess, I will tell ya!
Every year I focus on these rides, and start training early on to get ready for them, I enjoy each and every one, and I am already pondering next years ride. But adding up the totals made me realize something: Completing the big rides isn’t the accomplishment, the accomplishment is doing something I love that is GOOD for me!
Every ride is important. Whether a mile round trip to Rogers (our local market), a 5 mile ride to the Lynnwood office, a bike commute home or a ride to the highest pave road in Washington State
They all combine to have made me one very happy and healthy almost 50 year old!
I enjoy good wine and good beer
Riding lets me enjoy it without getting flabby. I like the occasional junk food
Riding lets me do this from time to time without too much guilt.
Most of all though, being on the bike sets my mind free. I watch for cars, and other crazy riders, not to mention squirrels, cats and the occasional weasel (no lie 2 weeks ago I saw one, freaked me out!) But the feeling on the bike hasn’t changed much since this little guy started riding way back in the day. It’s the closest thing to floating on air I will ever do.
Folks, my focus is now, and it should be, on the double century Saturday morning, 206 miles in a day aint nuthin to sneeze at! But no matter what happens, I need to remember that 200 miles is less than 1.25% of my total overall miles, not to mention the number of experiences, adventures and thoughts over the years and rides.
You know something, I am pretty damn proud of myself! Like the wind!