Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can't think, Can't sleep...El Tour is now an obsession

My patient wife must be wishing she had her old husband back.  He didn't exercise, didn't constantly mess around with new bike stuff for his new bike, and didn't constantly bring up the El Tour de Tucson race (coming this weekend).

I was that old husband in May (and through most of the summer)...but after almost 19 years of marriage, she is seeing me become increasingly obsessed with cycling.  I don't think I am, because I know that my performance is still so very limited compared to even the casual cyclist.  But I find that it is all that I think about...I find myself noticing the incline grade of roads as I am driving.  I am now paying attention to which streets have bike lanes or wide shoulders, good smooth pavement, hills that I could climb (and the very steep hills that laugh at me).

For the record, I still don't think I have lost much weight.  My doctor recently noted a 6 lb drop since I started cycling, but the bathroom scale hasn't really budged.  But I do know that my quads are bigger and more muscular and the belly has less "jelly" to it now.

I will join 9,000 other cyclists this weekend in the El Tour de Tucson race and will ride 36 miles.  Then, I will find the next race and sign up for it (so that I don't cuddle up on the coach with my El Tour participation medal for the rest of my life).

So, is it an obsession?  It's an odd thing for me to describe...I wouldn't say that I love riding (it is hard, my progress seems slow and at such a low level compared to virtually everyone in the real world and blogger world)...and yet, I do love that I can see some progress each month, some weight is shifting (and burning away) and I love the feeling that I am actually doing something.  Maybe a year from now, I will do the 66 or 81 (or 110) mile route of El Tour and will be a very different person.  I am hopeful.

Which is why I guess I am obsessed.  Hope is not found on the couch.

Keep riding!

Big Clyde


Anonymous said...

Hey Big Clyde (aka Little Wind, Seamus, Tim-eteo,

I'm so proud of you. You mentioned hope cannot be found on the couch, but lift the cushions and you could find a plethora of other stuff: M&M's, popcorn, Ju-Ju-B's, etc.) I know that everytime I lose hope of finding snack food in the kitchen, the couch always has hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered.

We are so proud of you for being committed. I always thought you should be committed and now, finally you are.

If it wasn't raining all the time up here in WA State, I'd be riding my bike, too. I find that even though I may go a couple of weeks without training, the hills are still relatively easy.

Know that I will be with you on your quest. I want your journey to be safe and successful. The fact that you are attempted this challenge is motivating me to consider buying another bike. Seriously.

I love you (so does Mom).

Big Wind

Big Clyde said...

Thanks for the support. I will think of you on my ride. Then, will call sometime later.