Posted by: fizzhogg | February 12, 2012

Glory Through Cycling

213 Friday morning! Yes, it’s only down a half pound from last week, but ANY week that you drop weight is a GREAT week.

I decided to celebrate my 213 with an epic ride with the CVC rouleurs – have I mentioned how much I love this bike club – on Saturday. The Orange group would be riding “Mulholland” – which means rolling out to the coast, cruising along the Pacific Ocean, then a climb up Mulholland – an 8.5 mile climb that averages between 6-8%. Total mileage for this ride is right around 50.

Perfect.

But then as life does occasionally, I was thrown a curveball (actually more of a nasty slider) about 1:30am Saturday morning. I received some very bad news – the type of news you get in the middle of the night, and that which makes it impossible to return to sleep. I finally managed to fall back asleep around 3:30 or so.

So much for meeting the club at 8:30am.

But I still wanted to have an epic ride. Coming off my Continental earlier in the week, and my new weight drop, I was feeling great cycling-wise, and… I knew I needed to ride long and hard to process the bad news I received.

So I awoke around 8:15. Ate, filled my bottles, pumped my tires (or tyres for Gaz), put on my Magic Cycling Kit (Rapha), and decided I would ride the Orange ride route, and maybe catch some stragglers on the last part of the climb. The last thing I added before rolling out was my iPod… I was going to need music on this day, and it was the best decision I could have made.

The first 18-20 miles of the ride was fairly flat, with a decent crosswind, and with my inspiring music and magical kit I managed to maintain an average speed over 18mph – great for me.

I hit the first climb of the day and then the first descent, and could not have felt better. I was alone on the ride, absorbed in the music and thoughts of faraway friends.

I turned for the coast, rolling through lettuce and strawberry fields, and then there it was… the ocean. I’m not sure there’s anything much better in cycling than riding along a coast. I could be wrong, but for me, it is nirvana.

I rolled along with a slight tailwind now, and kept my speed around the 23mph mark. I thought about my bad news, about the people I knew that were suffering in a way that made the very worst of cycling suffering nothing but an eye blink.

It was slightly overcast with the sun making little cameo appearances at just the right intervals. Something happened to me out there along the coast. I don’t know what it was, but I changed a bit as a person. For the good. It’s not something to get into here on a blog like this, other than to say, you can have life-altering experiences when riding on 1-inch of rubber.

I turned for Mulholland and began the climb. It was long, it was tough, and it was glorious. I pushed myself, I suffered, and at the summit I was rewarded with one of the more exciting, more technical descents in the area.

In the end I had spent three and a half hours in the saddle, I’d seen some beautiful scenery, and burned over 3500 calories (according to Hal 9000), and in some unexplainable way, gotten a little closer to God.

Normally, I end these posts with the whole “Eat better…” signature, but not today.

Life is precious. It’s a cliche, but only because it’s true. And you simply cannot understand how precious life is – or how quickly it can end – until it happens; to you or someone close to you. So appreciate each day. Give thanks. You don’t have to believe in God to do it. Even if you believe in nothing but a giant, empty void, you can still just give a silent thanks for each day you’re alive and able to enjoy things like friends, family, sport, the sun, the ocean, children, and the glorious endeavor that is cycling.

 

Fair winds and following seas to all

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Responses

  1. Thanks for that, I’m with you. Cheers.

  2. Nice post. If you are talking about the Mulholland I am thinking, that would make a remarkable climb. I used to live in the area and drove the road a few times, but never attempted on a bike. I envy your ride today.

  3. I’m ten pounds behind you at 223.6 today. Keep working at it! I am.
    It is a beautiful day in South Texas I think I’ll cut out of work early and go ride awhile.

  4. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is not guaranteed. All you have is today.

    Make the most of today.


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