Exactly a year ago, I bought my first road bike. It was love at first ride.
Shortly after buying the bike, I decided to do the Whistler fondo–122 km ride from Vancouver to Whistler. Not knowing what I was getting myself into was probably a blessing.
I have become so addicted to cycling, that I decided to sell my motorcycle. Yeah. I know.
I have learned so much in the last 8,230 km.
First, a big goal can be broken down to small chunks. Riding the fondo started with riding 20 km, then 40, then 60, then 90, then 120. Each stage is a new learning experience, with different challenges.
Second, eating for performance can be very different from eating to be skinny. I have had to learn to eat for riding, and the timing of when to eat to sustain a long ride.
Third, it’s amazing what each individual can achieve when you all work as a team. All of my fasted times on rides are results of riding with other people. Sometimes this is because we take turns pulling/drafting, and sometimes it’s because someone pushed me to climb faster and harder than I ever would on my own.
Fourth, the learning never stops. There are so many skills to learn and practice, and so much knowledge to be acquired. I first learned to ride a bike when I was seven years old. But now at 42, I feel like I barely know anything.
Fifth and last, riding is so badass. I absolutely LOVE it when my lungs and my legs are burning on a steep hill climb. I love being scared shitless letting my brakes go on a downhill. I love being challenged to go farther and faster, and seeing other kickass women ride like its nobody’s business.