He’s a tough guy, he still tries even if the odds are against him. Words to describe myself after completing a 46mile ride for raise funds for St. Jude’s Children Hospital. On October 14, 2017 I completed my 4th bike rally in Trophy Club Texas. What originally emerged as a decision to start biking around a larger area than my local roads has now turned into a bit of an annual ritual.
I grew up biking back in the 1980s, I of course had a tricycle and my dad taught me how to ride a bike with training wheels. In the 90s I hung out with friends, “competed” with them on who could go the fastest. Long Island suburbia at its finest. I rode to my High School a few times too since my transportation options after school were rather limited.
Why do I still bike? Well the first reason is because I like to challenge myself. Sure any person can say they do it recreationally, between pints of beer at the local craft brewery. It takes a different kind of man to push his body to the absolute limit. I don’t use that term lightly, I literally maxed out my heart rate for my age. 193 was my max and I stayed in what the pros refer to as Zone 5 (171-190 bpm) for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Zone 4 (152-170 bpm) for 2 hours and 33 minutes.
The second reason is my history. I don’t know when I’m gonna die, but I’m tired of seeing folks in the family die young due to varying health issues. It angers me and is really sad at the same time. Between a parent and a grandparent who didn’t make it to 50, and another grandparent who didn’t make it to 60… I’m just not wanting to be a statistic.
Lessons learned from this experience?
1. I am way out of shape. Seems like each year I keep getting fatter and fatter. That’s not the way it should work. Going to make it an absolute must to eat better. Two support vehicles pulled over on the side of the road to see if I was doing okay. When a person weighs 245, heartrate is 186 off thebike while walking uphill in 90 degree weather… The body tends to move around more slowly.
2. It doesn’t really matter what others think. If you have a personal goal and it’s something you are committed to, in many instances you don’t need someone else’s permission. It’s your life, when you look back weeks, months, years, or decades you don’t want to have regrets about the things you could’ve done while still in your prime.
3. The equipment is only part of the story. My Windsor Wellington SL bike is nice, maybe not as light as I would want going up steep hills but it gets the job done. I saw guys with bikes from the 90s and folks 20-30 years older going way past me. It’s a reassuring feeling knowing others share a similar passion and still have the energy / strength to keep it going.
4. I like pushing myself. It sucks at the time but the feeling of accomplishment is a bit of a high. Everyone else makes excuses for why they go exercise or hit some weights.
How does biking equate to money? Simply put, personal sacrifices help get you closer to the finish line faster. Keep pedaling. Stop eating garbage. That’s that my plan is. 🙂