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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 09-06-07, 05:04 PM   #1
jppe
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Moments of Truth!!!

For whatever reason it started thinking about what I'd call "Moments of Truth" and most of it is related to 50+ cycling. For this post I'm probably thinking of more of the mental challenges and moments related to riding if that helps.......

The most obvious is individual Time Trials where it is just the rider, the bike and the route. On Individual TT's you can't use the benefits of other riders' wheels. It's just you and the conditions. A real moment of truth......about yourself in a lot of ways.

And while competing in a Time Trial.......finding myself questioning if I'm going to give it a full 100% for the full distance or will I back off to keep my body and legs from revolting so much..........

Others for me are when I get dropped off a pack and am just several yards back from the last rider with the pack literally inching away. It's funny, but while I'm working like mad to get back on to the group to have the benefits of the others wheels, I can still have a conversation with myself questioning if I have the mental toughness to make the effort-and withstand the pain and agony- of what it takes to get back on with the group.

Some other examples might be at the base of a long hard climb-where I find myself asking myself if I can get up the hill without stopping......or falling over.

Or the days in advance of a 100 mile ride........questioning if can I still ride a 100 miles when I have not done it in for a long time. And standing at the start line with several hundred others while feeling both excitement and fear of questioning if I can complete the ride.

How about on a ride and coming to a decision point on a route (a turn or fork in the road) where you could go the longer distance you had originally planned to do or give in and do a much shorter ride.

Moments of Truth that I'm not sure how I'm going to react if and when it happens-one of my daughter's boyfriends asking for permission for marriage-if they still even do that.

Any Moments of Truth come to mind for any of you other 50+ers???
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Old 09-06-07, 05:50 PM   #2
Jet Travis
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Very interesting idea for a thread. I'll bet you get a wide range of responses.

My first "moments of truth" came when, as I young cyclist tourist, I saw the later afternoon light playing across the landscape as I pedaled in silence or went gliding along the back roads of Greece, Italy, England or Ireland. These were moments I treasured and seemed to find only while riding a bicycle. I spent six months knocking around Europe on a bike and felt that I was on some kind of hero's journey.

Then, in later years, my moments of truth came as I tried to get faster. I loved the challenge, especialy climbing hills or hanging with pack, but felt myself less present in the moment. In the process, I learned the limiations of my body as I injured my back and then my knee.

Now I try to find moments of truth through balance. Some days are the days of pure presence in the moment. Feeling the breeze, smelling the honeysuckle and feeling the kind of spaciousness that comes when you're spinning easily and peacefully in silence.

But there are also times when I love to climb, to feel the animal pleasure of just going all out--or nearly so as I sweat my way up a hill and then roar down it at 40 mph (well, that's "roaring" for me).
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Old 09-06-07, 06:08 PM   #3
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A couple of "moments of truth" come to mind.

One was committing to ride, with a fellow 50+ BFer, my first century. I was a little hesitant. I thought I could handle the mileage, but I wasn't absolutely sure of it. I didn't want to embarrass myself. Terrierman and I talked each other into it, and we finished, no problem.

Another was the decision to go completely over a local mountain and back for a second time. The long side on the trip back really kicked my butt the first time. I learned a lot about fuel and fluids! I made the trip OK on the second ride, and I just finished my 5th ride over the mountain and back last Monday!
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