Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Today I was anxious to get back on my bike after taking a few days off to recover from the 1,000 warriors ride. To be honest, I was not only recovering physically from this ride but also mentally. My legs have taken longer to recover from a combination of the difficult course/conditions and the fact that I had severe cramping multiple times throughout the race.

Coming on the scene of the big crash just below Timp Cave in AF Canyon (my favorite place to ride) and the big pool of blood all over the road and the mangled bikes has been on my mind the last few days. I also saw another crash during that race right in front of me that easily could have been me. I've questioned myself, "Is it really worth it"? And to make matters worse, I bumped into one of my friends at the store Saturday night and he recounted his recent wreck on his tri-bike and showed me all of his wounds. Another coworker told how he was riding with his friend recently and his buddy tried to bunny hop a cattle rail resulting in his front tire getting caught causing him to fall and compound fracture his arm.

But after thinking this through, I've come to the simple conclusion that you can't live your life in fear of getting injured. If you love to do something like cycling, then get out there and do it. Sure there's the risk you might run into the back of an SUV going 40 mph or wreck and get some nasty road rash or break a bone, but that's just part of life and part of being active.

This isn't the first time I've had these thoughts. When I was 13 years old, I started pole vaulting. I broke my arm once when I fell off the mat. Another time I witnessed one of my best friends land on his head after he missed the mat. I thought he was dead, but he stood right up and was just a bit dazed from the impact of the soft dirt (he left a good imprint of his nose and forehead). After breaking my arm, I went on to pole vault for 5 more years into college and never again was seriously injured. Just think if I would have concluded that it was "too dangerous" and quit. I would have lost out on all of those experiences.

Growing up on a farm, we did all sorts of risky things from jumping our motorcycles across ditches to water skiing/wake boarding in the canals while being pulled by a four wheeler or pickup truck. Sure we would get injured every now and then but I think it was worth all of the good times.

So, with that behind me I took my bike to work today with plans for a lunch ride. I haven't done lunch rides lately due to being busy at work, so I was a little out of that routine. I quickly got all dressed in the parking lot in my lycra only to realize I'd left my cycling shoes and helmet at home. Doh!! I was so disappointed to say the least. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has done that before.

Luckily I was able to leave work at a decent time and rode up the south side of Suncrest. It was great to be on the bike again. I love the feel of the cool evening air and there's nothing like working up a good sweat from a hard effort up a climb.

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