The Perfect Ride

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A friend called cycling “a cult” today on Facebook. I said, “no, no, its not a cult, its a drug!” And its like a drug in that its addictive, you want to sell it to your friends, and if you miss a day you totally feel it. The difference, of course, is that cycling can do little but improve your life. This weekend many of my friends were out riding for fun or commuting, training for the AIDS/LifeCycle and just riding in events and on their own for fun and recreation.

For instance: my boyfriend rode 7 miles to a party from our house; another friend rode 30 miles on the American River Bike Trail; my training buddies and I rode 100 miles in the Wine Country Century — after a two hour car commute; other ALC mates rode 125 miles on Saturday near their hometown; and the luckiest rode 200+ miles for a full weekend of cycling in totally different counties. The thing about it is, they all report the same thing: “that was the perfect ride.”

Not to say that there aren’t problems. From time to time, all cyclists have troubles and doubts. But few committed cyclists fail to solve them and move on. I’ve blogged about these in the past:

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  1. Mechanical issues. If you want a great ride, you have to learn to change a flat and when to take your bike in for service. (Or when to learn how to service it yourself!)
  2. Safety issues. Riding without a helmet, in the wrong lane, and disobeying traffic laws is a sure path toward organ donor-ship.
  3. Skill issues. “Am I doing this right?” “Can my bike handle that descent?” “Can my body handle that climb?”
  4. Time issues. Distance riding takes a big bite out of every weekend.
  5. Self-consiciousness issues. There are always riders better than you.
Oh, and weather! Saturday the temperature averaged 90º under the hot sun in most of Northern California. But on Sunday, the temperature plummeted and it rained in the coastal counties. A smart cyclist is prepared for these things!
Cycling is one of the few sports you can accomplish despite the weather, leaving from your front door or starting hundreds of miles away, alone or with friends, recreationally or with a purpose. Every mile ridden is a mile you weren’t driving! And because you’re not in a car, every ride is a perfect ride! So keep up the good work and don’t let the doubts be a barrier!
Your Bear

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