Flashbacks

There’s been silence for a few weeks, tied directly to silence in cycling.  A little rewind back to the end of June when I bought a new mountain bike, Lapierre X-Flow 312.  The story began on a wet drizzling Friday, June 28th –Lapierre’s 1st time in MTB environment.  Let’s just say I got initiated into the sport and landed myself some quiet time from the bike.  Lesson learned: There’s no Walk of Shame in MTB, only Walk of Life.

Time to find a new hobby.  3 weeks later, I still haven’t found one except for thumb twiddling.  At a loss of what to do, I rekindled with something I enjoyed during my pre-cycling days — Hiking.  Spencer Gorge (Hamilton) was pretty, however, I found it too “safe” and occasionally walked a path less traveled to spice it up.

To fill the void, I flattened my wallet with new toys.

…. Watched a Criterium (Provincial Criterium Championship at Exhibition Place, Toronto).

…. And pondered what I did before 2010, before cycling.  I never used to enjoy it, sticking to sidewalks on my undersized bike & rode as if I was tightrope walking.  In April 2010, I finally buckled down for a bike my size to better the experience — a $200 hybrid at a local hardware store.  Little did I know, it was the best decision of my life.  I proudly rode my 1st group ride a few weeks later, a 5km local Bike to Work event, believing the bright yellow bell on my handlebar made me fit in.  It may be a short ride, but it was my turning point.  For once, cycling wasn’t a chore.  I got my 1st taste of a “cycling community” and liked it.  A month later, another group ride of 20km with much stopping and resting.  It wasn’t until that September when I rode my 1st real bike tour, 50km route, my longest distance at that time.  I was exhausted at the end but was hungry for more riding — on another day of course.  One month later, I bought my road bike and the rest of the story is history.

GranFondoIt’s remarkable how much cycling became a part of my life.  Each ride creates fruitful stories to tell for strangers in my vicinity.  Cycling is a hobby, a stress-release, and most importantly, a feeling of accomplishment.  It always amazes me the distances that can be covered — traveling across cities, riding to places I used to visit by car.  It is this mentality, the accomplished feeling I crave, that consistently keeps me motivated as I prepare for any ride, including the upcoming GranFondo Niagara Falls.  Improvements are inevitable through practice and observations, season after season.  Whether it be a tour, a race, or a personal ride, I enjoy it all the same with different riding styles.

I finally returned on the saddle for the 1st time this weekend since the June incident, testing my limits & mobility — slow and steady.  It only took 3 weeks to lose all the endurance I gained this year.  I have a lot of work ahead of me before the 125km at GF Niagara Falls ….

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7 thoughts on “Flashbacks

  1. Trust me, it will come back just as fast as you lost it. You may be slower than you’re used to for a bit but actually being able to do the distance is mostly mental. The biggest part of doing it is knowing you can. Good luck on a triumphant return.

  2. Have done multi-day/multi-wk. long bike tours with your own loaded panniers? It’s different than with SAG support.

    Or maybe to do it on your own. I know several women who did this to challenge themselves/do something different for themselves. Since you’re in Ontario, not too far from Route Verte and its network in Quebec. Take the VIA train with your bike, etc.

    • I have never done any loaded pannier rides – I have done multi-day but with SAG support. It’s definitely something I want to experience someday. I agree, Quebec has wonderful trails – I might be trying the P’tit Train du Nord trail this summer!

  3. Pingback: Centurion Niagara Ride | Cherry Lo

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