I love riding my bike. You may have picked up on that… I certainly write about it quite a bit. It is a passion. I feel better on the bike than I do almost anywhere else in life. It is my life behind bars, handlebars. I ride. I ride because I can. I ride because it feels good. I ride because when I struggle up that hill that I could not ride up before I know that I have taken another step along the Journey. I ride because I can push the limits of what I thought I could do and then I can push them further yet.
I used to wonder if I was a cyclist or just someone who rides a bike. I Think I know the answer now. I am a cyclist. CB and BP, the owners of the bike shop I work in on weekends describe it as a Passion. They say I have a passion for cycling and I realize they are right. I think that is the difference between a bike rider and a cyclist. It is the passion. It isn’t skill. It isn’t knowledge. It is passion.
I have always loved being on a bike. I loved it as a kid when at the age of eight I taught myself to ride on a bike with two flat tires. My father had tried. My two brothers had tried. My Uncle had tried. I couldn’t learn. Somehow, some way I taught myself on a broken down old bike I dug out of the garage.
Soon I had a new Schwinn Suburban 10 Speed and I was riding everywhere. I learned to ride no-hands and I would circle the neighborhood that way, learning to steer by leaning the bike through the turns and not touch the bars.
I rode everywhere in a town with steep hills and I learned to zigzag up the hills and to muscle my way up. I loved being on the bike.
It became a passion.
Why I drifted away from cycling I am not sure. The love affair has been rekindled time and again and then I would drift away again….
Now it is back. It has been a transforming experience. To be in love with cycling again. To feel so good on the bike. To feel again the passion for cycling, the joy of taking a sharp turn at speed, the sense of accomplishment when I top a hill I could never climb before, the joy of flying along at 20+ miles per hour with a group of good riders in a pace line.
You can’t learn it. It develops and you have it or you don’t.
I have it for cycling.
The weather is starting to turn. It has been a warm early autumn but it is starting to turn. The nights are chilly and the early morning air is crisp. The days warm up but we know that will soon end.
It is the time of the year when I start thinking about hiking again. I can hike in the cold but cycling in that cold is hard for me.
I am making my plans now. How do I keep from gaining weight in the winter months. I am content to stay between 200 and 205 for the winter. If I come in to March 2014 in that range I will consider it a good winter.
I am looking at what I eat, how much I eat, when I eat…. I am making plans to squeeze in some hikes, I plan to ride the bike on the rollers, get in some rides when the weather surprises us with “unseasonably” warm weather.
Making plans for the cool air. Riding when I can. Hiking when I get the chance. Eat right, eat less, move as much as I can.
Not sure what the fall and winter will bring for my weekend work schedule. As long as they schedule me I will be there… When they don’t need me I will hike…
I love the way my life has changed. I love the way I eat. I love the way I ride and hike and DO. It isn’t the same me.
The slip in to vegetarian
It has been coming for a long time now. It started in March of 2012 when I stopped eating red meat. It continued in fits and starts over the next year and a half and here I am today not having had any meats in a week and not really noticing it. It isn’t even an unusual thing for me. I find I often go a week or more without any sort of meat. Once in a while I have fish. Rare that I ever have poultry anymore.
I used to go to the Indian buffet on Sunday night and have a little Tandoori Chicken but the last two times I went I had only the vegetarian dishes. I think of myself now as mostly a vegetarian. I will take the vegetarian option most of the time. And I simply don’t think about it. I just go that way.
I started drifting this way for my health. I wanted to lower my blood pressure and improve my blood counts: LDL, HDL, Triglycerides… Cutting out red meats was the first step. Everything else has simply seemed to follow…
Here I am.
Fifty-two years old.
Turning in to a hippy. 😉
Maybe I will get that earring after all…