An Epiphany

I often speak of how much I love cycling. Last season, I had to really throttle back on riding as I was training for my Olympic-distance triathlon. That may seem counterintuitive, as an Oly includes a 40 km bike ride, but the bike is my strong event, and my run and swim needed a lot of work.

After my end-of-season reflection, I decided that this year would involve more cycling. As my event calendar filled up, I decided to do just one triathlon – Race the River  in Coeur d’Alene. I have one “big” cycling event – the CFF Cycle for Life, at which I hope to ride the 65-mile route, possibly including the Webber Canyon option.

I am now looking over a race season with a half-dozen run events, one triathlon, and one bike ride. Why, I pondered, does a person who claims to love cycling, and who’s stated that she’s going to ride more this summer, have just one cycling event on her calendar?

And then it occurred to me: I don’t want the bike to suck. I want my rides to be FUN.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m good with long rides. I’m good with interval workouts and glycogen-depletion workouts. I just don’t want to look a schedule in which my rides are labeled and fit into specific categories. I don’t want to think, “What’re my intentions for this ride?” when I’m putting on my kit.

The bike should be fun. And fun it shall be. Even while I’m gritting my teeth and riding into a 35+ mph wind, or paperboying my way up a hill, it’ll be fun.

By deciding this, I am accepting that my bike skills may never improve. I may always be a slow climber – I’d hate to change my moniker – and I may never be much of a sprinter. But I will always look at my bike and think, “Hello, friend.” And that’s just too precious to give up.


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