Starting Over

When my wife and I met and married in 2007, one of the first things she did is encourage me to start running again, and to start cycling.

I rode as a kid of course and continued for a few years as an adult. From January to July in 1974 I rode my 3-speed bicycle 6.5 miles to work most days. That summer I borrowed a 10-speed and participated in the First Annual Georgia Tech Fourth of July Bicycle Race, a 10-lap criterion on a 1.5-mile course on the Georgia Tech campus. Finished 4th without really trying hard. Not long after that, I got a new job, bought a new bike, and promptly wrecked it. By the time I got it roadworthy again I had a car, and that was the end of my youthful cycling phase.

When my wife got me on a bike on the Silver Comet Trail (a rails-to-trails project in Georgia, USA) I felt like a kid again. Riding just made me happy. In 2007 and 2008 I focused more on running, but we regularly rode also, either on the beautiful back roads near Cartersville, Georgia, or on the Silver Comet Trail.

After burning on out running (couldn’t get past 15 miles without major calf cramps, in spite of doing everything “right”), in early 2009 I decided to focus on cycling. From then until 2013 I was riding every weekend and many weekdays too. In October 2013 we took some time off while I rebuilt our deck, and somehow, we didn’t get back to cycling. It was either too cold, or too rainy, or we were too busy.

In 2016 I tried to get back into it on my own, riding on park trails after work a couple of times a week, but that fizzled.

Early this year I decided it was time to get serious about cycling again, and my wife agreed. We dragged the trainers out and put them in the living room and rode our favorite bikes on those trainers. We started mid-February with 30-minute spin sessions, increasing by 10 percent each week. By mid-April we were up to an hour, which meant we were ready to ride on the Silver Comet Trail (SCT).

Since then we have ridden together on the SCT just about every weekend. Meanwhile, I signed up for some long rides that meant I had get on a more aggressive training program than my wife wanted, so I have been riding twice during the weekdays and continuing with our “easy” ride on the weekends.

Cycling is the one sport/exercise/outing I enjoy doing regularly, so I’m really glad my wife and I are back into that routine.

Starting over with cycling is the best thing I’ve done in a while.