Back on the Bike


So, I caught the cycling “bug” again – wanted to share a bit about that. Over the past couple of months (since it got warm enough as I’m a wuss when it comes to riding in the cold), I’ve made it out cycling a few times, slowly building up my distance to a VERY slow 20 miles per day. A respectable distance, though I certainly wasn’t breaking any land-speed records for sure and hills are always a struggle for me (gravity is only my friend going downhill). I enjoyed the time out on my bike, as I always do, but wasn’t quite passionate about it. As always, I feel very good after the workout – that’s pretty much expected. But I just didn’t feel that “itch” – at least not until this past weekend.

This past weekend was the annual Bike MS Tour de Farms event, which was held out in lovely Dekalb, IL. Most of you already know that I sponsor a team of cyclists – the team name is Chains for the Better (you can see us HERE). But that’s not what this post is about – at least not directly. I’m not writing this asking for money. 🙂 The fact that there is a team of us out there for the weekend, all riding for the cause (to fight MS) – I find very inspiring. The team is a group of GREAT people – all levels of cyclists – that has been committed to this ride for a number of years. They have become sort of an extended family. I found that pretty motivating while I was out there struggling through my 35 miles per day. I also had the benefit of riding with two great friends, who were also a huge part of me completing those miles – had some great conversations while pedaling away!

In addition to my team, there happened to be about 2,000 other riders out there – also riding for the same cause. Even more inspiring. While some people ride this event pretty hard (aka – fast), most of us are just out there having a good time and logging some miles. What’s great about it is you’ll just ride up to someone, strike up a conversation, inevitably have some connection, and 10 miles later you’re at a rest stop. What a great way to pass the time!

So one might think: Joe, do you really need 2,000 riders out there to get your lazy butt out to ride!? Well, no, of course I don’t. My point in writing this is that I was “on the fence” about riding – kind of motivated, but not really. Spending a weekend with 2,000 of my closest friends out on the road kind of put me over the edge towards loving cycling again. Since the ride I have registered for two additional events and am encouraging my team to come join me on at least one of them.   I am off work on Friday (July 4th holiday) and what was the first thing that came to mind? MUST get out and ride my bike! Even if it’s “just” 20 miles – just want to be out there on the open country roads and enjoy some fresh air.

While I’m not doing as many events as I did back in my Ironman days, it feels a bit like a slippery slope. Including Bike MS, I’ll have 3 events under my belt – and there is already talk of 1 or 2 more. I updated my Active.com account – visited Mike Bentley’s event page, and blocked off a few Sunday’s. I can already see me lining up the events to do, which is another way to stay motivated – have to stay in shape for that next event! That “pattern” of cycling events over the summer is coming back – which is good, and healthy.

So the “bug” is back. I am welcoming cycling back into my life again with open arms. It’s a lot easier on the knees than running, and a good way to spend some time with fellow cyclists/friends.

Maybe I’ll do so much cycling this summer that one of my next posts will be about my massive weight loss! 🙂



PS – My pictures from the weekend are HERE.

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