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Old 06-27-11, 03:46 AM
  #15  
Ron Harry
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: central florida
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It gets easier as you go...the body acclimates, or adapts, or whatever...or maybe you just get more fit. But what scrunches my drawers are the 'rodin ears'...my spelling for a french word I can't even pronounce, much less spell. These 'brevet' guys [and be sure not to pronounce the final 't'...like the river Thames should be spelled 'tims'... and you'll look like an idiot tourist the first time you pronounce it as it is 'written']...well, I equate them to the 'ultra marathoners'...who used to "run" 50 miles or more and were crazy as hell and were the real Forest Gumps of the 80's.

Seems this sport [bicycling] is a very relative thing. There is a graduation day from level to level, though I haven't seen any diplomas yet...but memories kept for the first 10 miler on your Walmart special; then graduating to the cheapo special at your local LBS and 'official entry into the sport', where upon, you get to do 15 milers on a regular basis, and feel like you are doing something. But then, you look around and see all them young sleek racer types whisking by you on Saturday afternoons and hear tell, that 15miles is baby steps at best...so you up your mileage and back pain, whereupon, you 'trek' back to the LBS for an upgrade to a 'real' performance bike [that you never knew existed in the old WalMart special days]. It means you have to even try those bedevilish looking 'clipless' pedals [and why do they call them clipless when obviously, you 'clip' in...]...and before you know it, you are 'graduating' again, and do your first 30 miler, a back breaking adventure that you cannot imagine how those younger racer types do it.

You even write home to Momma like you've really accomplished something...see...all 'relative'. Soon, you push the envelope, 35 miles, 40 miles...oh...those enevelopes and their paper cuts, like PR's you can never reach. Somewhere you read about centuries, like astronauts visiting the moon, simply out of your 'realm' and you chalk it up to things you cannot understand. But then some magical day arrives, and you do a 50 miler...another milestone. OH hell...sure you suffer, but something is changing in your mental landscape. Limitations are vanishing as a mindset...and if you can do 50, hell, the Moon ain't that far off after all. About then, you join the local bike club and learn the word peloton and start doing regular 25 milers on the weekends and wondering how you are ever going to find the proper time to train...

Train? For what? Ah...a century...that's what. Just seems natural and all...if you can do 50 miles, sure...doing a 100 miles surely is something you can 'really' write home to Momma about. And so...you officially TRAIN...and keep records and suscribed to magazines...and now you are an official enthusiast of the sport.

So, after months of training, you do your first century [me? I'm only to the metric stage myself]...but then you meet the first 'rodin ear' and your jaw drops...500, 400, 300...kilometers....in a single day? NO way. You learn people ride across the whole country in a week's time, or around the world, through mountains, snow, ice...you name it...you even hear rumors and myths of some guys even growing roots on their saddles [sic] they are on their bikes so long.

So, every stage you graduate into, there is always someone else out there to make it less than stellar as an accomplishment. But, you should still write home to Momma. I'm sure she misses you.
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