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A little encouragement

Old 10-04-15, 07:30 PM
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A little encouragement

I've been a little discouraged. Four years back I dropped 60 pounds. Starting biking again. More recently some of the weight has crept back on and I haven't ridden much this year since the spring. But last year I did a charity ride and a month ago, I committed to it again.

I got on the bike 2 weeks ago, did a 20km ride. I know that isn't far, I used to ride long distance in the 80s. The charity ride had a 25 and 50 km route. I committed to the 25 so I could ride with my team mate, the minister of my church, who I've ridden with last year at the charity ride and on a few other longer rides.

Unfortunately last weekend I got a really bad cold - fever, sweats, headaches and congestion. I couldn't ride. Thought I might ride a short one during the week, but the cold stayed. Friday was better but still congested. I didn't hold out much hope, but I was committed, I took a big dose of cough syrup, went to bed and hoped.

Woke up feeling ok but not great. Weather was cold and windy. Suited up and went.

The first leg we had the wind to our backs and had a nice easy ride, even coasting on the flats a bit to let my teammate catch up.

Made one of the turns and bang into a big headwind. I lead out, my teammate on a hybrid was struggling, I hunkered down. We left a little before the mass start because my teammate had an appointment later. So we were on the course alone, the aid stations were there unmanned and we were battling 40 km gusts. We just kept plugging.

All of a sudden we were passed by a bunch of fast riders on carbon bikes. My teammate knew the leader, and they exchanged pleasantries and the group called out encouragement(they were doing the 50k route). That kept us going.

When we got a little over half way we started to encounter the recreational riders coming our way. Everyone encouraged each other. The spirit was contagious.

The last leg was also into the wind, and we were passing some of the 10k riders. We just kept encouraging them, and the wind didn't seem to matter as much.

We didn't set any record times, my nose ran all the way, but we raised a bunch of money and had a good time.

I slowed my pace to help my teammate and ended up finishing feeling pretty good for someone who had been sick for a week, and having not been in good cycling shape.

My point is that we can all do better with some encouragement. So take the time to encourage other riders, and it might help your ride as well.
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Old 10-05-15, 07:19 AM
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Congrats on finishing a hard ride JamesRL. You're right about encouragement - we all need it.

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Old 10-05-15, 07:35 AM
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Old 10-05-15, 07:52 AM
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Sharin the bike love , not tearing people down but building people up awesome!
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Old 10-05-15, 09:38 AM
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I also have learned that one of the keys is to put away the garmin. In my case, about one in three rides I leave it in my back pocket. No more HR, speed, cadence, power etc. Just the joy of riding my endorphin-machine.
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Old 10-05-15, 09:53 AM
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Love it. One reason I like this forum is that we (for the most part) support and encourage. That doesn't take the place of "in person" encouragement and support though and we could all use a bit more of it and hand out more as well.
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Old 10-05-15, 12:06 PM
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Awesome story, and congratulations on not just finishing a tough ride, but helping others finish, too! I've been there myself - just about a month ago I did a 100 km charity ride with a group way faster than me. I hung in as best as I could but had to drop off at about the 70 km point where we hit some big hills and a ferocious wind. A couple of the stronger riders held back to draft for me and encourage me, and they got me to the finish just as the last of the main group were arriving. Toughest ride I've ever done (so far) but one of the most rewarding.
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