I posted this on the FlashPoint Racing Blog yesterday...here you go!
I'm going through a bit of cycling withdrawal.
I'm not really able to ride much--or at all--outside this summer, and I'm pretty bummed about it. So, I'm trying to pass along some good tri-karma to my other triathletes out there. I sent my wetsuit to my buddy Jaclyn for her first season of triathlons in Chicago. And, I passed along my FP60s to my tri-brother Eric, who will be reporting on them all season.I may have to pry them out of his hands at the end of the year, since they kick so much butt....you hear that, Eric? hee hee
So I thought I'd list the things I miss the most about riding right now, and maybe, just maybe, it would make someone out there a little excited to do a ride. Perhaps a ride they are dreading, or one that they are just bored of. Believe me...I've been there!
So what do I miss?
I miss that when it's 86 degrees outside and rainforestly humid, you can go for a 2 hour ride and feel the wind whipping against your skin and through your helmet. And it's NOTHING like trying to do a 2 hour run in oppressive, 86 degree heat with high humidity. Somehow, the ride always makes it feel cooler.
I miss talking to myself when I'm climbing up some ridiculous hill. Sometimes I'm beating myself up and cursing. Sometimes I'm encouraging and cheering. Occasionally, I'm doubting. But I'm always talking...and pushing farther than I otherwise would on a nice flat stretch.
I miss those conversations.
I miss the sound of clipping in. You still have the sound on your trainer, but in the basement it's a hollow sound. Outside, it doesn't echo...it just keeps going and reminds you that the potential for that moment is endless.
I miss saying, "On your left" as I pass someone.
I miss the 5 hour-plus ride. The ride where you have to really dig deep...where you have to prepare and think ahead, and where you never quite know what will happen or where the road will take you. Where you won't know who you might see along the way, whether it's another Ironman training partner coming from the other side of town, a 3 foot tall wild turkey, or your former AP English teacher from your senior year. (And yes...I ran into all of them last summer.) There's just something about every long ride that makes it an adventure.
I miss wondering if I've hit 90 miles yet only to check and see that I'm at 106.
I miss hearing the SWISSSSSSSHHHHHHH through my helmet as I fly downhill and my computer reads, "44 MPH."
I miss coming into T2 and feeling the excitement and wonder of the run to come.
I miss how many miles you can cover on a bike ride. Walking, and even running, just don't work that way.
I miss laying in the grass, after a long, long ride, covered in sweat and gatorade and marked by grease on my leg from my chain, when I finally take my helmet off and lay back and exhale.
So it's these moments I'll remember through my hiatus this summer. And, when I dread a ride next year as I prepare for a half-Ironman or another race, I'm going to pull this post out and remember it.
All of it.
Cyclists have the world at their feet.
Enjoy the ride.