I’m not new to cycling, but am returning after about a 15 year absence. I was an avid collector of miles until a pretty severe back and knee injury kicked me out of the saddle in 1992. Since 1992, I have a collection of back and knee surgeries, and watched my weight hit a high of 272 about 10 weeks ago. That’s when a new approach to eating and activity started.
Page forward to about 6 weeks ago when my neighbor asks if I would like to use his MTB to cruise around the neighborhood instead of just walking all the time. I thought about it a bit and decided to give it a go and see how the back and knees reacted.
My first ride was an awakening of feelings and emotions I hadn’t experienced in many, many years. The solitude of keeping cadence, the rhythms of the derailleur, the hum of the tires all came flooding back. I was suddenly 25 again and flying through the pineapple fields of Oahu. Then I turned at the end of my street and met a 30 mph head wind. I am pretty sure I saw several supreme beings by the time I wobbled back into the driveway, which suddenly had a beautiful bright light at the end of it, beckoning for me to join it.
As I lay in the grass trying to ignore the angelic choir that was singing just out of my sight, my wife asked me, “What were you thinking?” My response was, “I dunno, but it as soon as I can feel my legs again, I’m going back out!” After all, somewhere in the neighborhood there was a choir singing, and I figured it was worth looking for.
A couple of days later, I’m sharing my near death/euphoric experience with a buddy at work when he offers up this old aluminum framed Puegot MTB I could have if I would come haul it out of his garage. I’m not what you would call a MTB fan, never have been, but I do have a fondness for all things free. I followed him home and loaded it up. A tune up and some road tires, and I was off and in search of the elusive angelic choir that last heard seranading my driveway.
So, here I am about 6 weeks into trying to establish a regular riding routine. Some days aren’t as good as others, but my Doc advised I listen to my body and go with what it tells me to do as far as time, distance, and frequency. I guess my only current goal is to get to the point that I can set goals. Just being out on a bike is reward enough in its own way, but I know there is more to come.
Sometime in the next couple of months I will be looking to get something a bit more road friendly than the hand me down mountain bike, but I owe it a debt of gratitude for carrying me back to a lost passion.
I can’t say how much I appreciate the info and inspiration I have collected from the forum over the last several weeks. I’m looking forward to what each ride has to offer and making more progress!
Oh yea, I’ve lost 14 lbs and counting. It’s a long count, but it’s at least started.