Adventures in Cycling :: It's All About the Ride – The Shrinking Jeans of April


July 20, 2010 By april

Hello, my name is April, and I am a competitive person.  I’m so competitive, that even on solo sports, I will time myself or judge myself, and IF I don’t do better than before, I get a tiny bit angry.  Okay, fine. I get a lot angry.  At myself.  For not going faster or doing better.

I know.

Since I’ve started riding, I’ve had the front wheel go loose twice, the back brakes stop working, my speedometer go wonky, and chased by little bastards geese.  I was beginning to get a bit annoyed that every ride seemed like a struggle.

After a recent ride, that was the first in almost two weeks, I was bummed because it was one of my slowest times ever.  I expressed my disgust with a few of my friends.  One friend said something like (and I’m paraphrasing here) there was no sucking in cycling, it’s all about you and the bike and the wind in your hair.

Hmph, was my first thought.  But then I thought.  Maybe she has a point. Okay, FINE…she did have a point.

So, the next time I rode, I wore my watch, but I didn’t start the stopwatch.  I did keep an eye on the time, though.  (Hey, old habits die hard.)  That ride was probably my worst time yet, but the ride itself felt better.  Much better.

Today, I loaded my bike in my Escape, and headed to the greenway.  As I began my ride, I opted again, not to start my stopwatch.  AND I didn’t look at what time I started.  Instead, I started thinking of the wind on my face, and glancing over at the river and pedaling my feet.  At mile 3, I noticed the little bastards geese were back and I zoomed by once, and didn’t get chased.  Then, I saw a lizard and I had to really force myself not to jump off my bike to catch him all Steve Irwin style.  I turned around and headed back, and now the geese were in my path, yet they let me pass with only one hiss.  I have been stopping at mile 7 out of frustration.  Today, I rode 10.  And I loved it.

The whole time I thought about how it really IS about the ride and how riding my bike isn’t so different than these journeys we are all on.  It isn’t really even about weight loss (although, weight loss is a big part of it if you are here) it’s about life and what we make of it.  I had momentarily lost that.

No matter where you are in your life journey, do me a favor and realize that it’s all about the ride.  It’s all about the journey.

I may not have all the bits and pieces of my journey figured out, but I’m going to work damn hard to enjoy figuring them out.

Hello, my name is April, and I’m learning to just enjoy the ride.  Would you care to join me?