Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Why do we ride our bikes? Why do we put in all the hard work we do? I am too old to dream of turning PRO, however, I continue to take my riding seriously. I am careful of the types and quantities of foods I eat, I monitor how much sleep I get, I listen to my body, and I focus on my machine and the equipment I choose. I make sacrifices in life to get the most out of my body and my bike. I enjoy reading about the lives of the PROs and I look to them for training methods and practices that I believe make me a better cyclist. This is why I am drawn to insight about teams and their preparation and the reason I seek out information written by the mechanics, coaches, and the people who care for the riders. Will any of this information actually help me to turn PRO, not likely, will it help me be the best cyclist I can be? Absolutely.
Cycling is one of the few sports where, as a fan, you can be as close to the PROs as possible. A cyclist can watch a race and relate to the pain felt and understand the effort put in during training and the sacrifices made during the season. I have no idea what it's like to get hit by a 300lb linebacker or to hit a homerun and Wrigley Field, but I do know what it feels like to run empty during a long ride, or to suffer during a brutal climb. I have seen 205 flash on my heart rate monitor while bridging a gap or chase down an attack. So, whether you are screaming in a PRO's face on Alpe D'Huez or riding the exact same bike as your favorite rider, cycling is a sport that allows the fan an up-close and hands-on experience.
The parallels between the average (serious) cyclists and the PROs allow us to have an understanding of what is required to compete at a high level and gives us the ability to truly be in awe of these great athletes.
So why do we ride our bikes? Why do we spend time away from our families? Why do we suffer when we should be having fun? We do it because we are chasing a dream. We do it because we know deep down that this is what the PRO's do. They suffer in silence just like we do. They put in the long lonely hours, just like we do. If going out and putting in the time and effort brings me a little bit closer to being PRO, then that is what I will do. If putting in all the hard work brings me just a small bit of glory, then it is all worth it.