Once upon a manic day, I decided that I’d been at the gym long enough–I wanted to test myself on a fundraising bike ride. I told my mother, who has ridden with Cycle Oregon and done century rides. She was excited that I was getting into her sport, and went overboard with buying me supplies (including a new bike!) and going on training rides with me.
I was not overly enthusiastic about those training rides. I was no longer manic, I hadn’t ridden my bike since middle school and was a bit unpleasant company. I din’t take her constant advise well, and god help us if she decided to give some constructive criticism. I figured that I didn’t need to go on training rides, because come day of the ride, I wouldn’t have a choice. I’m a competitive, do or die kind of person. If I don’t have an escape route, or a rescue you can bet your ass that I’ll jump hurdles and come up with plans b-z to make it happen. If I was on the route with no one to help me, I would survive. I would find the energy to keep going simply because I wouldn’t have a choice, and I’m a survivor.
The furthest I went on one of our training rides was from her house to mine. 13 miles slightly uphill. The months flew by and before I knew it it was time to ride 25 miles to the beach. I found out that morning that my mother wasn’t doing the century ride like I thought, but joining me for the short ride. I wasn’t as appreciative as I could have been. My idea was survival while hers was company and enjoying the ride. Having a safety net took away some of the need to keep going; if I had problems she would have fixed them. I felt slightly cheated that she took some of the self reliance away from me, and that she wanted to distract me from my breathing and distracting myself by listening to podcasts. I feel a little bad about feeling that way; she was trying to support me, and was proud that I was joining her in one of her activities.
While I did some riding before hand, and my mother got me a new lighter bike and excellent bike shorts, I was not prepared for the fact that we were starting at the bottom of the mountain range. We were 1/2 done by the time we reached the sign proclaiming that we reached the summit. The ride down was a nice breather, and the last chunk of the ride was never ending flat road, with glimpses of sand on the road, so you knew you were close, but never quite there.
I did get some bonding time in with my mother, on the shoulder of a rode next to a stinky cow pasture, but I was tired and grumpy by the time we got to the beach. We ate, wandered around the swag tents, bought a commemorative tshirt and got back to the car to ride home.
I am glad that I did the bike ride. It was a fundraiser for lung diseases, and it showed that I can conquer things that I am not prepared for. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again next year (mostly due to the fundraising minimum) but I am glad that I did it and feel empowered knowing that I could do it again if I wanted to.