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First Ride in Ages

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First Ride in Ages

Old 07-17-21, 10:25 PM
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Bob Dopolina 
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First Ride in Ages

I used to train and race quite seriously (a legend in my own mind). Every day the ride had a purpose, a focus, and was documented and measured. I did enjoy this aspect of it but it seemed more a job than a hobby. Once I "retired" from racing I climbed off the bike and didn't ever want to throw a leg over, ever again. I was done.

That eventually passed and I started riding again but it felt off. It was purposeless. I couldn't reconcile the riding without the training and racing. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it somewhat, but I felt kind of lost. Like 'why am I doing this?" or "How do I ride without structure or purpose?" It was difficult to wrap my head around doing it for pure enjoyment. I'd lost touch with that part of the bike.

Inevitably, I rode less and less. I was busy with work and family and it was actually nice to replace all the time I had spent training over the years with other things I enjoyed. I started to throw myself into those things instead. My brain just works that way. It was good but I still didn't feel right.

My son got older and so we could start doing rides together. He was pretty young so they were not very long, obviously slower than I was used to and a bit meandering at times. I really enjoyed the time with him and I was starting to enjoy the pure freedom of riding again.

Flash forward a year or so and some health issues presented themselves. They were undiagnosed, at first, but it kept me off the bike. Then those issues were clarified and I hung the bike up once more not knowing if I'd ever throw a leg over again.

Another year later and I'd managed to get things under control (or get really lucky) and I started to toss the bike on the trainer and watch a hockey game, or some race coverage on TV while I spun away. That was ok, I felt better because of it but it was no replacement for a real ride. Those trainer sessions were sporadic, at times, and felt more like a chore than something I was doing for fun. It was hard to get motivated.

Today, I woke up and thought, "Screw it, I'm going to ride outside. It's a beautiful day (a bit hot it turns out) and I need to climb back on - even if it's just for my own sanity"

So I rode. Only for an hour. REEEALLY SLOWLY. But I got to check out some of the areas I used to avoid or just ride through on my way to training in the mountains. I even stopped to take a picture! The horror!

This is about 3km from my house. It's atop a breakwater but there is a path right next to it (about a meter lower) that runs for quite a distance along the coast. There is actually a lot of new cycling infrastructure that I hope I can check out in the coming weeks.

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Old 07-17-21, 11:09 PM
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Bob Dopolina How about instead of a racing goal you set yourself a touring goal? To enjoy the journey and the scenery rather than set PR or VAM records. For example, pre-pandemic, I used to go to the Osaka / Kyoto area for work every other month, and I was looking into cycling around the Biwa Lake. (Sadly, that goal is now delayed.) I am sure you can figure out something similarly scenic and interesting in Taiwan.
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Old 07-18-21, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Bob Dopolina How about instead of a racing goal you set yourself a touring goal? To enjoy the journey and the scenery rather than set PR or VAM records. For example, pre-pandemic, I used to go to the Osaka / Kyoto area for work every other month, and I was looking into cycling around the Biwa Lake. (Sadly, that goal is now delayed.) I am sure you can figure out something similarly scenic and interesting in Taiwan.
I actually started off riding by touring for a year in Europe in the early 80's. My hope is that when my son is older that we can do a proper tour together somewhere like Vietnam.

One can dream.
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Old 07-21-21, 08:19 AM
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Awesome you were able to get back on the road and enjoy the scenery. I still think cycling is the best way to explore and enjoy surrounding. Running I'm usually focused or lose in my thoughts. And driving, well is driving... Cycling is where it's at.
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Old 07-21-21, 11:22 AM
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Old 07-22-21, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
Awesome you were able to get back on the road and enjoy the scenery. I still think cycling is the best way to explore and enjoy surrounding. Running I'm usually focused or lose in my thoughts. And driving, well is driving... Cycling is where it's at.
That's so true.

I don't know how many times I've had stuff on my mind, went for a good ride, and have had it totally sorted by the time I got home. And it's not like I was thinking about it while riding. It's as if my mind needed me NOT to get involved while it worked out whatever I was concerned about.

I really miss that piece of mind.
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Old 07-29-21, 04:11 PM
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Welcome back! I remember you from back then even. I also got back into riding recently after a long time off, mainly because of working on my career and raising a family. Taught my son to ride a bike without even touching my own because his speed matched a brisk walk more than a ride. Too bad the time off of exercising added 60lb and a weakened heart. Now that he's older and faster, I got a tandem and started riding with him (great bonding time) on weekdays and then doing a longer ride over the weekend. Not only is it weird to not have a goal, but it's disappointing how slow I am compared to the past. Hopefully we will get used to it and learn to enjoy the journey.
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