I love cycling. Absolutely adore it. I got my first big kid bike when I was 19. It was a mountain bike that was about 3 sizes too big for me. That bike got stolen and then replaced. Then I sold that bike and got a different one while I was in Taiwan. It was in 2005 that I found myself going on multi-hour road rides on a mountain bike. The longest road ride I ever did on that mountain bike was 115km. The thought of doing that now makes me imagine needing bum surgery. I would take that bike out every weekend for hours of mostly road riding. About a year later was when I came to the conclusion that I am better suited for endurance sports like long distance cycling and running. I bought my first road bike off a friend. Again it was about 3 sizes too big but it didn’t matter. I rode that thing into the ground. It now has a home belonging to Ryan. It is called “The Silver Surfer” and it is loved again.
I’ve put in time. I’ve put in effort. I did more 100mile rides this past summer than I can count. I’ve put in blood sweat and tears. I feel as though I haven’t got out what I put in. I push, I train, I am committed. So where’s my improvement? Where’s the outcome of the input that I deserve?
Is it the pesky weight I can’t lose no matter what?
Is it my heart that threatens to explode?
Is it my nerves killing my motivation before I even start?
Racing season is fast approaching and I feel as though I should get off my bike and not even bother. Cut my losses while I’m ahead. Make my peace with racing before an entire season of nerves, disappointment in myself and being discouraged take away any amount of confidence I had.
Bike racing is not like running or triathlon. They don’t rip up the start/finish mat when you don’t finish a marathon with the elites. They don’t recognize the first, second and third finishers and ignore the rest. In cycling, if you aren’t strong enough to stay with the field, you might as well not even bother starting. That means one needs to be at least THAT good. No slow pokes allowed. Once you are dropped and left in the dust you might as well just call it a day and limp away with your tail between your legs.
Or go home, feel sorry for yourself and cry when you can’t even keep up with a casual Saturday morning group ride.
I did that.
I also picked myself back up, threw my spandexed butt back on the trainer and started again.