Back in the Saddle

March 22, 2012

Well, to those that have ever read my musings from almost 2 years ago, I’m back to writing for this blog. The contents of the future entries are unknown, and I have no idea what I may even want to write about. When looking back on my past posts, I was filled with a joy and contentment. So I’ll write again. Probably not about cycling, but about life events, adventures, and things to try and make my life sound more interesting than it is will be a broad summary of the future.

First Group Ride

May 31, 2010

This past weekend I have been incredibly busy. It has been a great weekend, and I’m so happy I have been busy with the things I have been a part of, but it doesn’t change the fact that right now I feel dead tired. This all started though Saturday morning at 9 a.m., when I went on my first Louisville Bike Club Group Ride. My father has been going on the group rides for about 2 years now, and he felt that it would be good for me to go and ride with what he called, “Real Cyclists.” There were about 40 some people at this group ride. In this large group of riders there was all kinds of levels of ability. There a few people who came with a Walmart-Special bikes with a baskets and bells on the handle bars. There were also people who had bikes that fell within the $3000 to $4000 price range. As you could imagine, they were riding at the front of the group. But it was a good ride. My Dad and I got off to a late start due to some technical difficulties, but surprisingly caught up with a big group of riders who were keeping a very good pace. I fell behind one rider who I thought would be good to draft, but then found out that he was a bit squirrely and almost made me wreck a couple of times. It was a 35 mile ride. This has been my longest ride to date, but I want to say one of my bests. We began down by the Waterfront and then road to Shawnee Park. After this we then road back to Downtown and from there went out to Iroquois Park. In this park in particular there is a massive hill, but I just kept my head low and became very “zombie” like. My Dad and I finished the ride strong, but once I got off my bike I felt as if I might collapse. I took off my jersey and fell into the passenger car seat, where I then proceeded to close my eyes and fall asleep to the sound of my legs throbbing.

The other day I went on my first rode ride without my dad. This was very bittersweet because my dad is a great riding partner, but I do enjoy the alone time. I began my 17 mile route feeling rather sluggish, but eventually fell into a great groove. On this route there were a few major climbs, but I found that if I kept my head low and just stopped thinking I could make them. Now when I stop thinking, I fall into what I would describe as a “zombie”  state. I feel this accurately portrays what I look like: mouth wide open, heavy breathing, sweat/drool coming down my face, and the occasional groan. While I was riding in my sleeveless jersey (hence the bad tan lines), with the sun beating down on me, and my legs screaming for rest, I thought of something. I was climbing this very gradual hill, and was nearing the middle. I really wanted to quit. “If I could just stop riding for a second” I thought “I’ll be able to conquer the next hills no problem. All I have to do is stop riding.” While facing this dilemma, I remembered something I read in scripture the other day. It comes out of the Book of James, and it says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Now I know it may be considered reaching for a parallel, but this encouraged me to keep riding. I wanted to quit. Yet I knew that the physical pain I was feeling was beneficial for me. The pain I knew was my muscles being broken down so that they could be built back up stronger. I feel like there is a connection here between life and cycling. The annoyances, hurts, and struggles that many of us face in our lives we hardly ever enjoy. Yet  God can use them to make us mature and complete. The things that break us down God can use to build us up all the stronger. Now I know the pains of life are much greater than that of a mediocre cyclists’, but I think you can see the connection.

Inspiring Quote

May 28, 2010

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.

–Christopher Morley

A Beginning

May 23, 2010

Get a bicycle.  You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

–Mark Twain

I recently was given the great gift of my first road bike. The Motobecane Messenger 2009 is now one of my main methods of transportation. I have a good history in cycling, which began my freshmen year of highschool when I started mountain biking. Now when I started mountain biking, I began to have a great disdain for road riders (whom I nicknamed “Roadies”). With their spandex shorts, bad attitudes, and clogging of traffic, there was plenty to hate. So when my father converted from mountain biking to road cycling he became the punch line to many of my jokes. This continued for years, until he purchased me my new road bike. The bike is perfect for living in the city. Since Chicago is primarily flat, a single speed is perfect for commuting around the city. This bike, however, serves more than one purpose. Not only is it a great way to commute and stay in shape, it is also the perfect vehicle for my father to serve just retribution for the last years jokes. That man has taken me on monstrous hill rides which have left me totally gassed. Since I have started riding with my dad and training on my bike though, I can see why he converted. It is very tiring. It is very good for you. In the end though, it’s just a lot of fun.