Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Emotions of Cycling

First of all I have to say congratulations to myself for finishing the 62 mile ride yesterday!!! It was one of those experiences where if someone asked me to sum up my experience with just one word, all I would be able to say is IMPOSSIBLE; not the ride but summing it up in one word. I had every emotion and feeling you could possibly have in a 5 1/2 hour period of time. Those emotions included frustrated, angry, happy, sad, ticked off, exhilarated, and on and on and on. The following are a variety of stories based on the feeling I was having at the moment...


When David and I arrived at the high school I looked around and noticed there were not as many people participating in the ride as I would have imagined. Not only were there less people then I thought but the guy who was announcing the race gave this speech and said if you are not feeling very comfortable with a 62 mile ride I want you to let you know this is going to be pretty hard. There are some significant hills. I looked over at David and said "Uh Oh now I'm nervous."


After the guy gave his little speech and made me nervous they rang the bell and off we went on our 62 mile adventure. If you have ever done a ride of any sort you will probably relate to this little story. We went off with the crowd of about 100 riders and it felt pretty awesome. David and I rode with a pack for awhile and I felt exhilarated. Nothing like riding with a large group of people who are out to attain their goal of finishing the ride AND have fun. People were so nice and encouraging!!!


As I was nearing the rest stop at the 23 mile mark I was feeling somewhat upset with myself. I though damn it, why didn't I train a little harder, I'm having trouble keeping up...


At about mile 32-35 (not quite sure where) David got a flat tire. Neither of us brought a spare tube and we had to call the support vehicle. We waited about 45 minutes to an hour for the cutie to pull up with spare tubes in the back of his car. While we were waiting I was somewhat frustrated because David and the people we were broken down with started talking about possibly taking a ride from the support guy to the next rest stop. I was frustrated because I spent so much time training and I wasn't quite ready to give up. We did not take the ride, I was happy.


David's bike got fixed and we were on our way; we were riding and I felt really good. We were also making good time and felt very strong. I was very happy.


Once we got into the last twenty miles we really started hitting the hills. Those of you who think Ohio is flat, I have something to say to you. OHIO IS NOT FLAT!!! As the hills got a little more intense our speed dropped down to probably about 10 miles/hour at one point David's odometer read 4 mi/hr. I was feeling defeated and was in a tizzy because I didn't feel they had enough rest stops on this ride... My biggest moment of defeat was when I WALKED my bike up what I called the wall. If you recall on a previous post I talked about a fall while riding with my sister. That almost happened to me again on this ride...


When we finally hit the rest stop at the 51 mile mark I almost cried I was so happy. I knew only 11 miles to go. YIPPEE!!!


As we started the last eleven miles of the ride I began getting angry and enraged. My butt hurt, the hills kept coming, the turns weren't marked well, cars kept honking their horns and driving way too fast, and I couldn't get to the end fast enough. As we rode I started getting very negative. I was cussing out the organizer of the race, the hills, the cars, the arrows on the road. Basically everything I could be mad at, I was mad at. It was mostly because my butt hurt SOOOOO horribly. The end couldn't come soon enough...

David was my saving grace through all of this. He kept reminding me of the positives and reminding me that the end was coming.


As we started riding in a neighborhood setting I began getting extremely excited. The end was near. I said to David "Someone better expletive cheer for us when we cross the finish line." I was sooooo excited...


I had the immense feeling of satisfaction, relief, and mostly PROUD, when I crossed the finish line with David (btw, people did cheer for us). I have never been so challenged in 5 hours as I was yesterday.


There was nothing on my body that wasn't sore with the exceptions of my legs.

Before the day was over I was already planning my century ride. It was so challenging but it made me feel like a part of something. I know it isn't necessarily changing the world, but it has changed me. It gave me something I can be proud of while doing something I really enjoy!

More to come as I prepare for my four mile jog in four weeks....


  1. Love this post - especially the blow by blow of your intellectual phases - and cursing at the race organizer - how dare he organize an event where you can safely ride over 60 miles with support vehicles - curse him!!!

    BTW, was this your (our) cousin David or another David?

    I'm thrilled for you and envisioning my life a few years from now, when we're back in America, and you and I can sign up for one of these long gigs together, and you can bully me through the training, can't wait!!

  2. Treat yourself to a hot fudge sundae and a new pair of shoes!!!! Good for you for not caving in and good for David for being your support person. Everyone needs one:) Ann and I are getting excited about riding around the block....

  3. seriously still thinking about your ride - impressive!! congratulations :-)

  4. I am so proud of you, Sarah. I wish I was there to cheer when you finished! Congrats to you and David.

  5. I can't wait to do another ride!!!!