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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cycling, Food, and Quotes

Today was yet another early morning. I am discovering I must treasure the mornings I get to sleep in more and more because they happen so few and far between. However, even sleeping till 8 is sleeping in for me. This is something I would have never dreamed. I was always one to sleep in until 10, 11 or even 12. No more. I just can't do it.

We had the PCRF ride Saturday morning. J.R. has done this ride the past two years and I joined him last year. We have seen this event continue to develop each year and it keeps getting better and better. It is also a cause that is near and dear to not only J.R. but myself as well. This particular organization was helpful to J.R. when he was suffering from leukemia as a teenager. It's a great organization.

8:00 we were off on our bikes. The ride was 50k or about 35 miles. I was a bit shaky at the beginning. I become nervous riding in larger groups. I hate being in the middle. I would much rather be in the front or the back. But even the back is a little scary for me. I'm always scared I will hit someone or someone will hit me. Then there was the fact that I hadn't been on my bike in over a month. In addition to that, the last time I was on a bike I fell a number of times. Plus, at the beginning there were a few lights, so there was a bit of stop and go. Add all that up and my nerves were seriously on edge.

After the first few miles, the number of cyclists began to thin out and there were fewer lights, so I was able to get into more of a flow. The climbs on this ride didn't waste much time in beginning. I think it was about mile 5 when the first one started. This was the real reason for my nervousness about this ride. I hadn't done any real hills in quite some time. I didn't know if I would be up for the challenge. However, I told myself I was just going to take my time and get through them.

A few miles before the first rest stop I was forced to drop J.R. He was simply going too slow up a hill. Once I get going on a hill, it is painful to slow down or stop. It just makes the whole climb that much more difficult. Thankfully, J.R. understands this and I always find a spot to wait for him.


One of the things I love about cycling are the people you meet. Most people are fairly friendly and willing to help out when another cyclist is in need. They are also good about striking up conversation along the way. I've meet a few people on my different rides and this ride was no exception. There is a feeling of camaraderie and a sense that we are all in this struggle together.

I was surprised to discover how well I did on this ride. I did not go particularly fast. However, the climbs weren't as bad as I anticipated  At one point, I was making my way up a particularly long hill. I suddenly felt a hand on my back. Assuming J.R. was the one behind me, I turned and said, "oh hey." Only it wasn't J.R. Umm awkward. This random guy came up behind me and pushed me up the rest of the hill. I am torn on how I feel about this situation. Part of me thinks, "That was nice of him to help me out." Another part thinks, "Jerk. Did you think I couldn't get up on my own?" Then again another thinks, "Umm eww. Perv." However, we began talking a bit. I explained that I was just taking things easy, since I hadn't been on my bike in some time. Then I told him about my last ride. He was incredulous that I had actually been hit by another rider. He soon moved pass me and I was again left to myself.


There was another point in the ride that I was taking a hill fairly slowly and another rider came up behind me. I noticed the light in front turned yellow so I began to slow down. This other rider had his head down and was apparently completely oblivious to anything around him. I told him it was turning red. Still he continued on until I yelled, "red!" He looked up and quickly stopped in time. He turned around and thanked me. I couldn't help but think what an idiot. Why would you ride with your head down like that?

A few weeks ago I wrote about the different scents I encounter when I run. Cycling is no different. I noticed a few today. Some pleasant and others not so much. At one point, I was riding through what is known as Cooks Corner and came across an unmistakable scent. Skunk. Ugh. It was terrible. And unlike being in a car, the smell lasts quite a bit longer. I couldn't pedal fast enough to get through that mess. However, at the end of the ride, I also rode past a strawberry field. The scent was heavenly. It made me want to stop and eat a few.

I was pleasantly surprised at my performance on this ride. What began as a ride I was dreading, ended up being a very enjoyable ride. It pushed me at certain points. Some of those hills were no joke. But I like a good challenge. I really enjoy doing this ride every year. Tomorrow is the 5K. We've never done one of the runs so it should be interesting. I am hoping my knees are doing better. I'd like to be able to actually run. Even more so it would be really nice to be able to PR. However, I'm not going to push things too much. I want to be able to continue my training.


And because after any good hard workout you have to treat yourself, J.R. and I did. Though we may have gone a little overboard. Oh well. I'll work it off tomorrow. We started with Starbucks. I haven't had a frappucino in forever, so I splurged a bit there. Then we went out to our favorite Italian restaurant  This place is AMAZING. I always get something different on the menu and I've never been disappointed.

Basically a giant mozzarella stick.


We ended the evening with a good old pizzookie from BJs. Yumm. It was amazingly delicious.

Freshly baked cookie with vanilla bean ice cream.
And as for today's prompt? Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it. 
This one is a difficult one. When I had my own classroom, my walls were covered in inspirational quotes. I love a good quote. That is why this is going to be particularly difficult to narrow down. I don't want to bombard readers with all the amazing quotes I love. One of the silly but true ones I love is. "I cannot live without books." Thomas Jefferson. True story. Love books. Another good one is "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle. And another is "If your dreams don't scare you, you aren't dreaming big enough." Too true. And one of my favorite verses has to be this one. It has brought me through many a difficult time of questioning my life.



Just gotta keep moving!


 

What are some of your favorite quotes?

What is your favorite type of food?

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