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himurastewie 07-29-08 09:03 PM

Evening all -

As the night is winding down, I'm sitting here reading the Clyde forum and looking at the various posts about people's progress, their triumphs and the often the jubilation that goes with them, and it got me to thinking about mine and my fiancee's own progress.

We've been riding the same five mile loop for the past couple weeks, her on her new Trek, me on my Targetbike (which has developed something of an unsettling creak while I'm pedaling), and every time we make it to our turnaround point and think we want to go farther, we back out. Last time, her legs weren't feeling "right", the past few I'm not sure what, but we just never continued past the point that we usually head back.

But instead of getting discouraged that we're not going farther down the road than we've gone before, I think back to just a few weeks ago. My recent obsession with cycling has kind of been lurking in the back of my mind for years now and just never manifested itself into something to act upon. I've always wanted a bike and to ride, just never enough to go out and do it. My fiancee used to ride her bike everywhere just a few years ago, but circumstances took her away from her bike and she hasn't been on again until we started earlier this month.

Just getting on the bikes was enormous progress in and of itself, and from there taking them off the local sidewalk and down to the bike paths at the Metroparks was another milestone. Then a thought struck me about the nature of progress itself- the attitude shift went almost completely unnoticed until I thought back on it. Just a month ago I was thinking about uses for left over financial aid money from school. I wanted a new computer. Now I want a new bike. I'd much rather spend the money on a bike, and as an extension on me than a device that does for me nothing more than allowing me to play some games at a higher resolution. And I thought to myself - "now that's real progress."

My fiancee had something of the same epiphany. After our first ride in the Metroparks on her old bike and being flat out ready to give up 3/4ths of the way through the ride, I gave her my own bike to ride and she had a complete attitude shift. She was energized, excited and genuinely interested in riding more often and for longer than ever. That was real progress.

I guess the whole point of this is just wanting to share a few thoughts of mine, and hopefully to provide a little extra support for my fellows out there searching for some inspiration. Just remember that progress is not always measured in miles ridden, or pounds lost... it's about the journey of beginnings. From that first inspiration to get you on a bike, or out walking, or eating healthier, to the realization that this "me" is (outside of certain religious beliefs) the only shot we get at it, and that it's up to us as individuals to make the best of it that we can.

Enough of my babble - have a great evening everyone!

bautieri 07-30-08 06:18 AM

Did anyone else read this ^ with Morgan Freeman narrorating?

Congratulations on the lifestyle shift, it wasn't that long ago I made a similar choice on wether I wanted a quad core that would be obsolete in a year (if that) or if I wanted to put the money towards a road bike. Since becoming physically active again I can't stand the thought of sitting inside playing videogames all afternoon. I'd rather go for a ride then inwind with a cup of tea reading the forums.

Your a lucky man that your SO rides too, use that as a tool to motivate each other into riding on the days when you just don't feel like getting up off the couch. Before you know it you'll be chasing down the big miles. Keep up the great work :thumb:

txvintage 07-30-08 11:06 AM

I think this is a very good point. In the early stages, success and progress can have many different faces for all of us.

I'm only a couple of months into it and seem to have hit a plateau as far as weight loss goes. My mileage hasn't really increased like I would like either. The one thing I hang my hat on is that some of my physical/orthopedic limitations are becoming less and less an issue. They aren't gone, never will be, but hurdles they present are either getting smaller, or I'm adapting to their reality and not noticing as much.

Either way, I sense good things coming. So OP, I'm right there with you.

BigPolishJimmy 07-30-08 01:21 PM

I re-read that post with my inner Morgan Freeman voice and it was brilliant the second time around too. :)

I was just thinking how I'd like to be farther along the other day and then I reminded myself that when I first got back on a bike earlier this summer just 1/4 mile was murder on me. Now I can do 10, and probably a lot more if I can get a good saddle. I'm fairly convinced that I need to go for a Brooks B-17 given that I hear so much good and so little negative about them. Man I'm still saddle sore from riding 10-12 miles last Friday on the franken huffy. I'll be riding another 10 this weekend if weather permits. Hopefully put in a few shorter rides before then too.

Tom Stormcrowe 07-30-08 01:30 PM

Hmmm, I distinctly heard Sir Richard Burton, myself. ;)

Neil_B 07-30-08 10:32 PM


Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe (Post 7169379)
Hmmm, I distinctly heard Sir Richard Burton, myself. ;)

James Earl Jones for me. Then again, I've been called the Caucasian JEJ. :)

himurastewie 07-31-08 09:54 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone - though not quite what I was thinking when I posted this thread, at least it got some of you thinking. :D Now that I think back on it, I can kind of imagine it being narrated by Garrison Keillor from A Prairie Home Companion. I remember my mother listening to the show every Sunday on her big fancy stereo that she had for probably a good few decades back home in Maine. I was too young to appreciate it then, but those were some good times.

Anyway, good night everyone!

BigPolishJimmy 08-01-08 07:14 AM

Well himurastewie I'm not surprised you were not thinking along these lines. It's obvious to me that you run at a fast pace and you really need more ketchup in your diet. You know ketchup has natural mellowing agents which can give you the strength and fortitude and peace of mind to bike further at a more natural pace....

This post brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board

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