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.
It’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 ….