Way back in the way back days, before the Mountainstroh Blog, shoot, even before I am sure I knew what a blog was, I become a cyclist. It was December 2007, and I got my first real bike.
Who knew how far it would take me….
It wasn’t long before I realized I was damn good on a bike. Lord knows I will never be fast, but I could ride forever in a day, climb any hill and then get back on the next day, and do it again.
I was all about the rides and the miles. I wanted the biggest and baddest.
Seattle to Portland (one day rider of course)
Crater Lake Century
And the baddest of em all. RAMROD
Every year I would look for the big ride, the one to challenge me, the one to brag about. Then, hour after hour, I’d saddle up, even in the cold and wet to get the miles.
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of it! Nobody twisted my arm or held a gun to my head. It was all me wanting to do it. And of course my coach Michelle who got me motivated on the days I DID need that extra boost to get off the warm couch.
This year looked to be no exception as I signed up for the Tour de Blast, and Crater Lake Century….
But, as we know, as time goes on, people change….
A wise woman, a good good friend and fellow blogger Sarah (Honoring my Compass) reminded me one day about a saying from one of my favorite authors.
Now y’all who have followed for a long time know that I have ALWAYS stopped when there is something to see.
I learned early on that one of the best things about being a cyclist is what you see when you ride, and I have seen a LOT!
But until 2017, the sights were honestly secondary to the miles. Even the name of the blog, starting at 10000 miles and up to the most recent 35000 reflected this…
But in 2018 we moved to the Oregon Coast. On any given ride I can now see this
The more I rode down here, the more I wanted to see what there was to see, hear the sounds, smell air and taste the salt. The miles truly weren’t as important.
Then 2019 hit.
I signed up for and did the Reach the Beach Century. Prior to it, the longest ride I had done was 85 miles on a borrowed bike.
I succeeded (I aways do!) and I celebrated (as I should)
But I didn’t CRUSH it as I had in the past.
The Tour de Blast was in June. Just a few weeks later. My training miles lagged a bit, and I wasn’t all that excited about it. But you know the rules, I signs up for it, I pays for it, I rides it! And I did.
It sucked ass!!
It was wet and cold, and truly, I gave thought to turning around at the end of the 7 mile climb at the beginning of the day. But I persisted. The 5 mile climb at the end is a thigh-buster. I stopped to take this photo to try and I wasn’t the only one on the ride, but I truly can’t tell you if the stop wasn’t just to be able to breathe again….
When I made it back to the car I knew I was done with that ride. I’ve done it 3 times, gotten rained on three times, and that’s enough.
As I drove home I started considering the Crater Lake century coming up to months lates (yep booked and paid for)
There was a voice in he back of my head that started saying, “Yeah I really don’t wanna…” I tried to ignore it.
I only rode once the rest of June.
I was a bit down on myself. Was I losing my super power? Was I getting old?
I prided myself on finishing every ride, no matter how wet, or hot or windy or hilly. Nothing stopped me. And the more time went on, I decided when it came to the Crater Lake Ride, I just didn’t wanna. I let Michelle know I was going to bail on it. And as I knew she would, she was very supportive! We decided to have a staycation that weekend instead. It was a blast!
Funny thing though I didn’t stop riding. I rode a LOT in July, the longest was only 50 miles, but I got in 9 rides and over 300 miles
(I know I know I said the miles weren’t AS important, but I am still a mile tracker…)
I started having more fun! I was enjoying the shorter, 40 mile and below, rides. Whales will do that for ya
I wasn’t feeling guilty and taking a beach walk. Its fun hunting agates and finding starfish.
In short, the bike became a means to for me to be even more in touch with the coast. For the rest of the year, almost every ride was along the same route. South from home and then turning around. And every time I would see something different.
I am not looking for bad ass challenges any more (though Rob and I still have the California coast to ride some day)
I am looking to enjoy where the bike takes me, to see what I can see that people in cars can’t.
I have my new steed, Roscoe, who will take me places the tricross never could! Places I don’t even know yet.
I will still keep track of miles, I need to. I love food and wine WAY to much. The miles help be from being called Fat Tony! So I need to make sure I am riding a decent amount of mile. But the miles aren’t the prime purpose of the ride anymore.
Hence the name change of the blog. I am an Oregon Coast Cyclist. Take out the weddings and the vacation this year, and almost all the other posts were about our adventures here at the ocean.
So why not make that the focus of the blog!
There will be other things I am sure that will be blogworthy, wait till you hear about the big vacation planned for this year! But it will always come back to the beach, where Michelle and I are happy! So I hope you will still tag along.
OH, and of course, there WILL be sundown shots as well!
OH, if you are on Instagram,. search for #oregoncoastcyclist. Some of the best pictures from the bike rides will be found!
Like the wind!