The Rural Rider

Contemplations on cycling

Pedaling

I want to write about the joy I find in cycling so maybe I understand why it matters so much to me.

My serious cycling began while I was doing a substantial weight loss program. Starting in January of 2006 I began a nearly 9 month long medically monitored supplemented fast. You might call it a kind of liquid protein diet although it was more complex than that. I began to look for an exercise component that I liked and there was my Peugot PX10 in the garage. So I took it down to Davis Wheelworks, got it spiffed up, and began to ride: slowly and not very far, maybe only a few miles and not even at 10 MPH.

But over time I started to ride further and instead of riding the bike paths inside Davis I began to venture out onto the roads. Davis is an urban island in a sea of farmland and one Saturday I boldly chose to make a 10 mile loop out along the county roads south of town. It felt good and afterwards I felt good. So I began to ride further and then, as I finished the fast, I treated myself to a new bike: a Felt F75. Wow — it was a revelation. My rides became longer but then the weather got cooler. I didn’t have a lot of energy reserves coming off the fast and as winter came on cycling became less important.

But the kinetic part of riding called. In Arizona I rode to Prescott, the first long climb I had attempted. And when I came back to Davis, early in March, the Davis Bike Club was doing their March Madness event – challenging each other to see how many miles could be ridden. I joined the bike club, did 250 miles in the remaining days, and I’ve been riding over 200 miles/mo since then.

Riding has changed the way I drive, the way I travel, the people I know. Maybe I can understand why. And, perhaps, share the passion.

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