I think that sometimes we look at things in black and white, and truthfully I think most of life falls in the grey. I harken back to one of the best Tour de Frances I have ever seen. It was 2006, we had watched Lance win year after year, and it was actually quite boring. Floyd showed all of cycling one of the most exciting tours ever seen. A comeback after a bad day, a ride of a lifetime. In the end, he was vilified by allegations and drug test, which most of the field would have failed. In my eyes, he still was the victor, and victim, a sacrificial lamb. Yet here we are 11 years later, drugs still in use in most professional sports, and are we an better off? I don’t think so. What I can tell you is that all of us at some point in our life cross over between black and white and grey. At first we may lose sleep over it, but once you cross over to grey, every decision going forward becomes easier to justify. So before you judge, just ask yourself, can you look back and say you never crossed over?
I was thinking back to when I was 20, 30 was really old. As I got older, maybe 30 wasn’t that old. At 53, 30 seems like a youngster. So tonight, as we started off on our Wednesday night ride, I was surrounded by youth. 25, 24, a few guys in their early 40’s, I was clearly the old guy. We blast off, and within moments we averaging 24 mph. 5 miles into the ride we encounter my dear friend John D Amato, who is 60, yes 60! He looks the same as when he was 30, and we raced together. Guess what? He rides just as well as he did in his 30’s! He joins us for the rest of the ride, and we drop a few of the 20 somethings. So in the end, as I confront my coming of age, and the time when I am officially considered old, I realize there is hope. We really can control our destiny, and through proper maintenance, we can preserve that youth we hold so dear. Age is just a number.
So I think we all wonder as we get older, when do we start to lose our mojo. Are we a faded version of what we used to be? Do we fool ourselves into thinking we aren’t, just to avoid the fact that we are getting older? I truly believe that if you take care of yourself and exercise regularly( preferably cycling), you will prolong the aging process. I recently traveled to Mallorca with a group ranging in age from 24-74, everyone had a great time, and the oldest guy in the mix clearly was younger than many 50 year olds that I see every day. So you can slow the process, trust me.
Back to my dilemma, the reality is that I am 53, admittedly at times I still think I am in my 20’s. I ride with guys who are all younger than me, and I am not ready to admit that I may not be the rider I used to be. Lately, they all started racing. I listened about their experiences for a week or two, and decided I had to jump back in. Talk about pressure, what if I get blown out? What’s it like to be a has been? Better than a never will be, but only by a little bit.
So there I sat on the starting line tonight, looking around at a bunch of young faces, fit bodies, and me. What was I thinking? I wasn’t, it was a decision based on impulse.
Pop! The gun goes off, and we head down the road at a nice 28 mph, settling in at a 25 avg. a few laps in, and I felt great. 50 minutes to go…. at 2 1/2 laps to go, I find myself at the front, an opportunity opens, and I am off the front alone… 1 lap to go, the field is closing in, they consume me at 1/2 a lap. I hung on to finish around 15th. Good news is, I still have a little left in me, not ready to throw in the towel just yet. So yes, I am getting older, but I think I can live with it. We are only as old as we allow ourselves to be. So go out and give it your best, you might surprise yourself.
It’s true, I would starve. Some call it writer’s block, I might just be lazy.
Truth is I walk the fine line between riding my bike too much, and not working enough. I spoke with someone that came into the shop today, and it got me to thinking about the past, and how I got to this point. He told me he hadn’t ridden in quite a while, but when he really thought about it, it was the best time of his life.
Even though I am in the bike business, at one point in my life I was working way to much and riding very little. While I loved the business, I needed more. Once I flipped the switch, I never looked back. In time I learned that by spending more time on the bike, not only did I enjoy my life more, I got better at my job. The passion that I reignited through my riding, helped me guide others into a better cycling experience.
While I used think every ride I took had to break some record, I realized anytime spent on the bike is what makes me happy.
Life is short, enjoy the ride…
Bags are packed, boarded the plane, and we’re off to Mallorca for a week of awesome rides. More to follow….
Getting amped to head to Mallorca. 2 days and we are off. I have been told it is the most amazing place to ride in Europe, time will tell…
- The excitement has been building, and next Friday we depart for Mallorca. 6 days of riding in what has been described to me as the most amazing place on earth to ride. Stay tuned for all the great pics…