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Why Do You Ride?????

April 13, 2009

What a gorgeous morning!  The temperature started just a little cool, and warmed up perfectly.  Occasional wind, but nothing too bad.  We rode for 1hr 15m.  It was just one of those mornings, everyone was quiet.  So I was left to think, instead of talk.  And what I thought about was all the different reasons why we ride.  And that made me curious, I started thinking about all of you, wondering why you ride.  So, tell me:

Why do you ride?

Let me tell you why I ride.  I ride because I can.  Now, before you go thinking that’s just some arrogant, elite cyclist statement, let me explain.  First off, I am fortunate enough to have a bike.  (a really cool one with matching tires & all)  And really blessed that my job affords me the time to ride – alot.  But even more important, I am healthy enough to ride. 

Few years back, when I became sick, I was scared. I didn’t do alot of riding.  The weeks and weeks it took for my doctor to determine how sick I was, waiting for what seemed like forever to have the surgeries.  It didn’t leave me in a place where I woke up and said ‘Gee, I think I’ll ride my bike today!‘  After surgery, you can’t ride until you heal.  You think going into it that it won’t take that long to recover, but afterwards, wow, it takes it out of you.  Then you finally get to the point where the doctor tells you to start riding again. 

I was lucky, my oncologist is a cyclist.  He knew just how long to keep me off  the bike.  However, getting back to riding after that was hard.  And it wasn’t only physical.  I was overwhelmed with the feeling that my body had failed me.  And for seemingly no reason at all.  It upset me for a long time.  I just couldn’t get my mind around it.  The other thing was that I didn’t feel sick.  When you have a serious disease, you should feel like you have a serious disease, right?  I was sitting in my doctor’s office, he was telling me the cells he found were carcinoma, and my mind was yelling  ‘No, you don’t understand.  I can’t have cancer, I don’t even feel sick.  I’m training.’

From then on, every time I rode, it was as if I was trying to prove to myself that I wasn’t sick anymore.  I wasn’t showing off to other people, I was showing myself – that I was ok.  See, I can beat this guy up this climb, that means I’m well.  Hey, I finished 65 miles in under 5 hours, that means I’m ok.  Look, I can stay at the front of the pack for a good part of the ride, maybe I am better – for now.

So when you see me racing past you  (assuming I’m able to pass you), I’m not thinking ‘ha,ha, I’m faster than you’.  I’m thinking ‘hey this is great, this must mean I’m healthy’.  That’s why I love the hills so much.  Every pedal stroke up every incline is a reaffirmation that I am ok.  You have no idea how good it feels.  ‘I – am – strong – I – am – healthy – I – can – do – this!’  Another thing I feel very fortunate about is that I get to ride with such great people.  Being involved with this club has brought the most wonderful people into my life.  I enjoy all of you so much.  Thanks for riding with me.  Now, I wanna know – Why do you ride???


7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2009 8:07 pm

    Well, you want to know why I ride? It’s very simple. It accidently became another form of excersize for my friend and me. But once we started riding we haven’t stopped. We started riding on our own and then found your club. Wow, that was the best thing that happened to me. I have learned so much from both you and Guy. From knowing how to use my gears to finding out that there are absolutely no “HILLS” in Mission trails. Sonia and I have come a long way. We started out walking to now doing both walking and cycling. I really look forward to the weekends and riding with the club. What is so interesting is one never knows what may come one’s way. For me, I never imagined that at my age I would be cycling. I would always watch Lance Armstrong and I would be amazed with him, and all the others that would ride. What would even amaze me more is the ironman triathlons. It’s so funny because last year I had checked on line about doing a tri. I was discouraged after I read, “get ready to spend between 1500-2000 dolars.” Well that was way out of my range, so I put that thought on the back burner. Little did I know that I would start cycling a few months after I had checked on that. Since I was already a swimmer and now started cycling my dream a few years back about doing a tri has come to a complete circle. Now, I have registered for a minitri on May 9th. I know this may all sound like a simple task for some of you, but for me it is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. The reason I have come to this point is the confidence I have gotten from riding with the girls for almost a year now. I may just get hooked on doing triathlons, like I have with cycling. The reason I ride is because I enjoy it sooooo much. Thanks, Veronica and Guy, for making riding so much FUN!!!!

  2. Brittany permalink
    April 14, 2009 10:03 pm

    I ride to get away from it all. I like the feeling of getting on my bike, turning off the phone, getting away from offices, and books and getting back to what God has truly blessed us with. Cycling helps me bring everything back to reality. I would like to thank Veronica and Guy for always making me feel welcome on the rides and making them enjoyable. I truly owe my cycling abilities to the both of you. Hope yall have a good party this weekend, sorry I could not be there. See yall in a couple weeks!!

  3. Evangeline permalink
    April 22, 2009 4:06 pm

    I have an 8 month old little girl and well she’s fearless…that or she just doesnt know better…either way she is always on the go trying to discover everything and anything she can get her hands into. Well, I want to be like her again. Before my ACL surgery, I used to hit the gym a lot, ran, did cardio kickboxing, martials arts (karate and judo) and loved every single minute of it and I wasn’t afraid of getting hurt. And ever since the surgery I’ve been afraid… and I feel like the surgery took away my courage, my determination, my will and I sunk into a deep depression that made it longer and harder for me to recover from the surgery. So slowly I pulled myself together, I did a few activities here and there but never something as big as a triathlon, a cycling event nor a marathon.

    After having a baby and seeing her go, I realized, I need to be fearless again like her – so I ride. I’m still scared to fall off my bike or never able to ride up to the top of a really steep hill but I’m slowly overcoming that 🙂

  4. Karyn permalink
    April 24, 2009 9:48 pm

    Why I ride? Well I have always ridden a bike for casual activity, I used to get grounded from my bike while my brothers got grounded from video games or television. Not me! What happened?…I had a kid, joined the Army and forgot about my bike. One day my friend, Jaime, said hey, you want to ride in the MS150? I was graduating from college (that same month) and needed a new challenge in life, not to mention something to do (2 1/2 years of full time college + life). HA! little did I know what I was getting into. 5 months to figure out if I could ride 160 miles in 2 days when all I have is a $50 Walmart trail bike. Off to sun and ski I went to get a bike and all the equipment…and now it started. I looked online and found Guy and Veronica who took me under their wing when I showed up for the Cibolo ride (unannounced) and took me on 35+ miles rather than the 23 I was expecting. My new addiction started- it is a place for me to get away from life, challenge myself to the hills (that I personally hate), meet wonderful new friends and see all kinds of new places (from a view I didn’t realize existed). Not to mention the added bonus that I stay healthy and fit!
    So after a couple of hiccups in 2009 I am back at it and watch out tour de cure, I am at it again.

  5. Sonia M. Villa permalink
    April 25, 2009 3:37 pm

    Ok, This is why I ride! I consider myself blessed for being a mother of three handsome young men. Which grew and left the nest. So with all that time on my hands, I started walking with my BFF Rosalinda. With serveral month into it we wanted to chance it. so, I had a mountain bike and started @ the Mission Trails. Rosalinda being the computer wiz that she is found the RLAG club and we joined. We went for a couple of week-ends and we loved it. Veronica & Guy were so nice and patient with us we said YES !! Here we are still hanging in their!! I still need to work on my endurance but, with this new bike (well new to me). I will get there with alot of help from Veronica & Guy. I also enjoy meeting and greeting the other members.

  6. The Guy permalink*
    April 26, 2009 10:11 pm

    Why do I ride?

    What an intriguing question, and what interesting answers by the club members. Its good to see “why you ride?” It gives me insight on character, and motivation. I have not been riding for more than four years, but remembering back to all the friends we’ve met, and their particular characteristics, I think I’m now able to understand why they rode in the manner in which they did.

    Is this the real question though, “why do I ride?” I’ve been thinking of this for awhile, and it’s a very hard question. Some might say, because I was dating the cycling instructor. Others may see me running from something. Or could I be trying to prove something to myself, or fit an image that isn’t really me.

    In any case, I guess it comes down to how I feel when I ride. When I’m climbing hills, jumping logs and roots, or catching the air after a deep descent on my trail bike, I feel like I’m an adolescent again. I get to feel the terrain under my feet, see the world as God once created it, and imagine myself in another place and time.

    When I’m riding the road, I’m racing against myself and time, hoping to be riding along someone as we approach the next hill. Can I take them, or have I mis-calculated their timing or conditioning. As I clock in the hours on the road, I have thoughts and images, racing through my head. Where is the next turn, are the other riders safe, are we out-riding our abilities?

    I guess I can honestly say I ride because I can. What a wonderful gift from God to be able to enjoy His creation and share what little I know about cycling, with the great people I meet. What good is any gift, any delightful or enjoyable thing, if you have no one to share it with.

    For those experienced roadies or trail riders I challenge you to ask yourself “why do I ride?” Remember back to the first time someone took you in under their wings and showed you their skill, and helped you develop your own. What a precious gift not to share with others. People ask me all the time why give up my training to help others. They also wonder how I’m able to teach the beginners or if I’m missing out on ‘training’ with the faster groups.

    There would be no place I’d rather be, then watching someone I’ve taught how to climb, accelerate, and position themselves in a group, pass others on the road with a strength and confidence. Its nice to remember back to when they first rode, and how intimated they were. Ok, so maybe no one I’ve trained has gotten there yet, but perhaps some day…

  7. Adel Hernandez permalink
    April 27, 2009 10:38 pm

    Why do I ride? I can now say…because I can. Goodness, how far back should I go? I’ve always been active. In the ’90’s I played soccer in the Women’s League for about 5 years. In ’97 I was in a car accident and was told I could never play soccer again because of my neck injury. If I would head the ball (or do a head shot), I may end up in a wheelchair. I was a soccer ref for a while, but I couldn’t stand to watch the game and not play. So I took up running. To make a long story longer…three years ago, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to buy his bike. He was a great runner and didn’t have any use for his bike anymore. He was part of our running group. So yes, I’ve done my share of running. I even managed a marathon training group for several years. I’ve run 5 marathons, a 50K and about 6 or so 1/2 marathons. I loved to run but my feet kinda hurt, my knees kinda hurt, so I bought this beautiful bike. I had it cleaned and tuned, I got these spiffy clip shoes, a helmet, gloves, shorts with matching shirt…I was set. I rode from my garage up my driveway about 40 feet and fell because I couldn’t UNCLIP. My knee was bleeding, my elbow cut…my feelings hurt, my excitement crushed. I put my bike away. I was later diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery, radiation and am still on medication, but I’m a survivor. My medication and lack of excercise have added several extra pounds to my weight. I really can’t run much any more and my stamina is shot. Then I heard about SA Ride Like A Girl. I email Veronica to put me on the mailing list. I want to ride, but not yet. She said OK let me know when you’re ready. She kept sending the emails. Last November was my one year anniversary from my surgery and I was ready. Guy has the patience of a saint. I’ll never forget our first ride. He showed me the brakes, the gears, how to check the air in the tires…I was a nervous wreck. I’m sure it was the slowest ride he’s ever ridden because he was waiting on me. I’ve since finished the Mission 34 miler, the Fiesta Wildflower 40 miler. I love the wind blowing on my face. I could never run this fast!!! I can’t thank both of you enough for teaching me so much and I have so much to learn still, but I’m ready for TdC. I love meeting with our group and heading out to ride my bike. Thanks to you I can say…Because I can ride!!!!

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