I’ve met a biking enthusiast. This would be the enthusiast type of a two-wheel kind without a motor. I wanted to know someone who had a passion that had history and a future. Biking was something I did as a kid. When I was 16 I gave up my two wheels for four and never really looked back. I believe my current bike costs more than my first car.
Biking these days seems to be done by people 35 and older. I rarely see kids out on bikes creating trouble like I did back in the late 70s. One event that has been going on since I was riding around on my Huffy in 1973 is RAGBRAI over in Iowa. My friend has great stories of the more than dozen times he had gone on the ride. This week the 2012 RAGBRAI is taking place in this sweltering Midwest heat wave we have going on.
I’m riding several times a week in the mornings with my better than a Huffy bicycle. I have the shorts and a jersey, gloves, a helmet, water bottle and a cool GPS cycle computer. I’m out in the morning and I count deer as the miles tick by. Faster is fun and now I”m measuring and comparing my heart rate from day to day. The best part of riding in the morning are the deer. They stand right on the trial and greet you. We’ve never had a shut out day, I would say the average morning sites 12 deer.
The fact that I’m riding outside, on a real bike is somewhat amazing to me and directly related to my friends passion for biking. I taught exercise classes for a while and one class I did not teach was the Ride class. Ride Class was an uphill journey. My participation was to gain insight on what it was like to be a new participant. I wheezed through 60 minutes of nonstop spinning easily relating to a new participate’s experience. I tried to forget how my bottom felt or how my lungs were functioning. Also in Ride class, there is no coasting.
The transition to the road was greatly aided by all those hours in class on a bike with one wheel. I’m preparing for a ride in Michigan. This adventure will combine long hours on the bike with sleeping in a tent and showering with groups of people. This is a quest where I follow another’s passion as those three things would not occur in nature for me. I have another month to ‘train’ on my morning rides. I’ll continue to monitor the next 5 days of RAGBRAI for a bit of inspiration for my journey.
I dare you to get your bike down, pump up the tires and ride around the block. You may just remember how much you enjoyed it.