I always believed cyclists to be a special breed of people. Wearing an unflattering helmet and pedaling for hours surely requires a person with a different level of sports interest. Cyclists don’t seem to mind the flat helmet hair or the padded pants, breaking all kinds of fashion rules.
Many of my friends cycle. A hubby and wife team, a lone rider here and there, and a mommy and son team. For Elzanne, it started as something to do with a cycling crazy boyfriend. Their romance thrived on their bikes, races and training together. Her always perfect hair and picture perfect makeup made way for a ponytail and a red face. She found her happy place. Never mind that it meant putting herself through all kinds of hurt, she was content with her new found sport and everything that came with it.
Even after the romance between them faded, her relationship between Elzanne and her bike kept going. It became a mother and son sport. Her eight-year-old son loved cycling around the neighborhood: now he climbs and pedals the distance with his mommy. I have seen their relationship, and his somewhat hyperactive behaviour, change into something positive and stronger than before. Elzanne admits to wanting to throw in the towel almost every time she gets on her bike, yet, biking keeps her going. Being sweaty, tired, dirty and having burning muscles is nothing compared to the satisfied and alive feeling she experiences the moment her feet hit the pedals. No words can describe her emotions and feelings when she crosses the finish line.
I have a lot of respect for the cyclists. I admire the bond they share, the friendships they build, and the fun they have, both on the road and on trails. They have to face the dangers on the road every day, the elements of nature and the pressure of life, but none of that stops them. So, I find myself following my own group of pedaling friends. They plan their meals, races and training with diligence and discipline.
I spin, loving every moment of it, but looking at my friends versus the sometimes empty riding studio, I have to wonder about my own choices. Calling myself a “cyclist” just does not do the word any justice. Can the stationary bike compare to the outdoor side of cycling, even with the punctures and my own fear of falling? Looking at the proud mommy and son smiles, holding their medals up for the camera, I have to admit — no.
I feel awesome and the last time I crossed the finish line it felt like I could just keep going. The fact that I can do it with my son makes it a 1000 times better
It took less than 10km on an open road to have me hooked. Now I find myself buying cycling magazines and saving up to buy my own ideal bike. I still spin, but I can’t wait to be on the road with my cycling crazy friends!