Every bicycle related, or outside related magazine or advertisement assures me I can improve on my personal best performance by closely following the training advice offered therein. Alright, I think, I want to do my best. Even if doing better than myself feels like a lot of pressure I decide I will have a go.
I’ve decided to train for the Java Man Triple Brew Pub Extreme Moderation Tour. My success in defeating my self will be judged loosely by these criteria:
– Moderation and balance.
– Being non-judgmental and humble.
– Living in the moment.
– Wattage, heart rate, miles and time don’t matter.
– Speed doesn’t matter either.
– People in automobiles waving at me in a friendly manner matters.
– Other people on bicycles and pedestrians acknowledging me in a friendly manner matters too.
Athletes generally attribute a large percentage of a successful performance to mental attitude. Actually, this could be one of my biggest challenges in this event. Smiling while riding(in moderation of course) moves me toward my goal, and saying hello to the faster rider who is overtaking me, whether they say hello or not, moves me toward my goal. Refraining from the urge to take that rider’s wheel to show that I can go faster too takes constant practice. Or is this just the recovering racer rationalizing the fact that he is now old and weak?
I give myself permission to go slow sometimes, but it feels good once in a while to breathe hard and feel the lungs working to bring air to the blood, and to feel the blood pumping and carrying that oxygen and some fuel to be consumed by my muscles in the magical process of making the pedals go around . And it’s neat to see my body get more efficient at doing those things, so that every ride seems a little easier. So I give myself permission to go fast sometimes too.
A baggedy shirt or a plain wool jersey keeps me cool and allows air to flow through the interstices of the brain, not constricting my thoughts and actions with the pretense of needing to be something I’m not. By the way, that person driving the car? They seem to be a little more agreeable to sharing the road when they see me dressed that way on a bike with fenders and lights and racks.
As Leo Woodland says “People talk to you if you’re on a bike and you give them time. You’re not threatening. You arrived by humble means and you have humble needs, like food and drink and a moment’s rest”
I am training myself to stop and, really, to look for reasons to stop.
I am training myself to ride a bicycle in a way that makes it look easy. No hammering, thank you.
Actually, now that I’ve created this event I realize that every time I go out on the bike I am a participant in it.
The current ride is all there is.
There was no ride before this and there will be no ride after it.