So i had this bike and i wanted to ride it. Never rode a bike with more than 3 speeds or clipless pedals. Needless to say, the bike and i fell within 20 yards of the first time i mounted it – felt foolish but at least no one saw me. This was not the first time i fell, but i learned how to unclip quickly. Took me a year longer to figure out how to use those gears on the front rings.
The other thing i remembered was the lycra and how much laughter i provided my kids when they saw me in it.
The first ride was approx 2.5 miles with gentle rollers which i almost died riding up. Did not quit though – kept at it and rode a bit longer each ride until i was up to 5 miles within 2 weeks. Then 10 miles, then 12, then 15.
Decided that if i wanted to keep riding i might need to ride with others – started looking for a local club and found the Frederick Pedalers Bicycle Club. Joined the club and started riding with them and found that i hated hills. Did not deter me and i kept showing up for rides i had no business riding – but the club riders kept waiting for me and encouraging me along the way. Finally found out how to use those front gears on those rides.
Also learned that carbon fiber was lighter than aluminum and decided to trade the aluminum bike for a used carbon fiber Trek. The CF bike did make a difference in my climbing and was much more comfortable than the aluminum bike. It was most definitely due to the fit – the first bike was too big for me.
A few years later as i was riding and talking with a club member, i learned that he completed a cross country ride and also does some other long distance riding during the year. He told me about this randonneuring thing and pointed me to the DC Randonneurs. I was intrigued after just completing my first century in Salisbury, MD. Took me another year before and another Seagull Century before i joined the DCR and Randonneurs USA.
Another FP club member had also joined the DCR and RUSA and we decided to complete our first official ride (brevet) on the eastern shore of MD – the Flatbread 200.
and so began my rando career……….
I am hoping to use this blog to focus mostly on my biking activities. I may also add other stuff which may interest me from time to time.
So about 5 years ago, the kids were getting ready to go to college and my wife and I started to wonder what we would do when they leave the nest. We started to have all the thoughts other parents have – are the kids ready, are we ready, do we like each other still to spend more time together now that the kids would be gone – since all our time and effort were focused on raising these kids, etc., etc…
Anyway, they survived, we survived and in fact thrived together as a couple while they were gone. As a matter of fact, we thought something was wrong with us when we dropped our son off at college and were not in the least bit sad about him being gone. We loved him but there comes a time….
Our daughter left the nest the following year but was close enough for us to visit regularly. She eventually moved back into our home the following year and is now commuting to school – long story…
In addition to wondering how our lives would change – I realized that my life had centered around their lives and their activities. I realized also that I had gotten terribly out of shape over the years and I needed to do something to get back into shape and get healthy. I had a gym membership – notice i did not say i went to the gym. I jogged occasionally, used the many exercise equipment in the basement but could not find the motivation to do anything consistently – many many starts and stops. I knew I did not want to get fat – and yet, I found myself on the path to going where i did not want to go. The waistline expanded at a snails pace but after a few years, that snail had to travel a longer path to get around my stomach. I found myself having to buy new pants with “relaxed fit” and “comfort” waistbands. Something had to be done, but what?
Shortly after this realization, on a visit to a client’s office – I noticed a bicycle sitting in his office and commented that I rode a bike when I was in high school – until I was able to drive and then the bike disappeared. I remember thinking how much I enjoyed riding that bike. Anyway, he mentioned he wanted a new and improved bike but needed to sell his bike first – so I walked out of his office with my new-used bike. Thus began my biking adventure………