It’s not a widely known fact about me, but back when I was in my early teens I used to compete in bike races. And not just neighborhood races … I actually held a competitive racing license and would race against other young lads in my age group all over the country. Truth be told, I wasn’t very good – I spent the majority of my time at the back of the peleton. But I was eager and enjoyed the competition, not to mention the feeling of freedom that you get when you’re cruising down a long stretch of flat road. Unfortunately, something happened in my late teens and I lost interest in cycling for a long time.
Over the last few years I started to feel the pull of cycling again. I watched the Tour every year and occasionally longed for the experience of riding down the open road under my own steam. Late last year I took the plunge and bought myself a nice bike. Unfortunately, marathon training and dodgy weather combined to limit my opportunities, so it spent a lot of time over the fall and winter covered up. Following my recent struggles with knee pain, I decided to take a complete break from running. However, I didn’t want to become idle and so started to take the bike out on a regular basis.
Having the park so close was definitely a big help, as it provides a relatively safe environment for a spin and there’s a couple of hills that give the legs a good workout. It wasn’t long before the same old feelings came flooding back and since then I’ve been riding the bike four or five times a week. I clock up a good 60-80 miles over the course of those rides, and even bring the bike to the lake house now. Getting out for a couple of hours in the Appalachian Mountains is a totally different experience to Brooklyn.
I still love the bike, and who knows … maybe this renaissance will eventually inspire me to sign up for my first triathlon.