I’ve found a great circle of cycling friends on Google+, with a large variety of different styles, from highly functional commuters, to racers, climbers, cyclocross, to long distance century and double century riding, and even randoneurs. So that got me thinking of my cycling progression.
Bikes have always been a part of my life, ever since I took the family bike out to the grassy backyard, and taught myself how to ride (without training wheels), using a fence as my balancing mechanism. When everyone was driving to school in high school, I was out there on my bike. I had no car, and did not want to take the school bus.
I didn’t really take it up seriously until after I got my first professional job after college (retail store job does not count). That’s when I bought a Miele, and on clipless pedals (way back in 1988). That’s when I first started out doing club rides, and thinking 50 miles was long distance.
As I got more experienced, I started getting the speed bug. Then, I saw Montrose pack ride, which is a huge pack of about 100 riders, racing through the streets of San Marino, Arcadia, Irwindale, Duarte, and Monrovia. But I knew I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with these guys. I’m not sure what category these guys and gals are … maybe Cat 3? My usual routine was to go out every weekend, and just see how long I can hang in with the group. Usually it’s half way, which is about 10 miles, or when we get out of Arcadia. If I lasted the whole ride, it would be a scant 40 miles.
I did climb hills at this time, and I thought I was a climber, but I did have a fear of the mountains. The San Gabriel Mountains were very close by, and yet I made every attempt to avoid them.
Then in 1998, I made a career move, and moved from So Cal to Nor Cal, and man there are hills here. I soon had to go with a triple, so that I could finish these hills. But even after that, I found myself always last up the really tough hills.
I eventually was convinced I should do double centuries, and that started my trend of riding everywhere possible, and avoid using a car at all cost. I even sold my car, but family forced me to buy one … grrrr. Anyhow, u became a California Triple Crown rider, completing at least 3 double centuries in one calendar year.
Riding a double century takes a lot of discipline and patience. It also forces you to be an early riser, and be on the bike fit extended periods of time, getting used to riding in the rain, and in the dark. I think I’ve got burned out of double centuries, and now re-evaluating what you’re if rider I am.
I don’t think I’m a racer, although I have twitchy muscles where I can hone that. I like to climb, but I’m not a climber. If I was, I’d do DMD in a heartbeat. I’m probably a long distance rider, but that takes so much of your day away.
Hmmm …. time for self realization …. what you’re if rider am I? What type of Rider are you?