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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Participating in an Organized Bicycle Ride

It seems we are always pushing our selves to do things. I think it is what keeps us alive and kicking. It is sort of like that old business dictum "If you are not growing, you are dying". I think our lives are like that too. If we don't keep learning and trying new things, we start the slow downward spiral, with our minds and body atrophying. Tough stuff, but true. And now that I have reached the ripening age of 55, I recognize how easy it is to let go of what is truly a quality of life by not continually challenging myself. The memory gets rusty, the muscles get cranky, the voice gets froggy and the smile droops downward, along with other parts of the body we won't mention.

Finding and sustaining passion in our lives, even if it is just a general "lust for life" is the way I have found to keep myself curious and looking forward. Bike riding has become a bigger and bigger part of my life. I spend more time on the stationary bike working on endurance, I have gone further and further on my bike on rides with my husband, I now incorporate bike rides on my trips to other places and, this past weekend I tried out my first official organized bicycle ride which benefited our local university and their scholarship fund. It was a little scary at first, but it was truly a lot of fun!  I only did the 14 mile "Family" ride so I could test out my ability to ride in a group. I am glad I did. Plus, the next organized ride was for 35 miles. I think this will be my goal for next summer...

The scariest part of the ride was the start. With everyone starting at once there is a crunch of people and bikes. This was particularly challenging because it also included children on their bikes. People are looking out for themselves and aren't so aware of others around them which can make for some perilous moments. My best strategy was to not push it and keep some distance between me and those in front of me. I was especially cautious at the beginning...and asked my husband, who is a much better cyclist, to look out for me, running interference with the more aggressive cyclists eager to cut in front of me.  It worked out well. I am looking forward to my next ride.

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