50 Miles? You Must be Mad!

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If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. — Ernst Straus (orig. French), cited by Einstein: A Centenary Volume at 32

I’m 46, yet I still feel like a kid. Maybe its because I’m gay, no kids, and live happily with my partner. Maybe its because when I set my goals, I set them properly. Among my goals are: put my health first, learn to be an athlete, make sure my husband is happy, and not live for money. Sometimes, I think that these are weak goals and that I could do more. But then I get on my bike.

I ride my bike every weekend. I rarely ride less than 60 miles in a weekend, or less than 100 miles in a week. I usually ride at least 200 miles per week. I never set this as a goal, it just happened.

When I tell people I’m going for a bike ride, they often brighten and smile and ask me how long I’m going. When I respond “30,” “40,” “50” miles or more, their faces darken and they ask: “Why?” To which I never seem to have an answer that I think sounds satisfying. But really, I know why: cycling helps me achieve all of my goals.

Danny and I on an ALC Training Ride 1/26/13

When I bicycle so much, I feel more fit and happier. Being more fit, I look younger and have more energy. Having more energy makes training easier and more comfortable, so I’m more likely to get back on my bike next time. By focusing on riding, I can clear my mind of worries about all the little things that causes anxiety, which reduces fear about money issues. All this helps my relationship, though I do think that Davey feels like a widow sometimes…especially as the AIDS/LifeCycle approaches and I’m riding back-to-back 60 mile days on the weekends.

Plus, each ride is an adventure. There’s always something amazing to see — things you cannot see from your car. Every time I go out there, I learn something new about Northern California, human nature, and the world in general. And learning is the most important thing we can do.

What better goals could I possibly have on this mote of dust we call home? There are more grandiose goals which I consider vital — helping others, learning about the cosmos, dispelling ignorance — but one must start those personally. Hopefully, I’m doing my part with these goals, too, however amorphous they may seem in my day-to-day life. And that is one reason I ride in the AIDS/LifeCycle: to help others and dispel ignorance.

So, please donate to my ride!



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