Long Rides

#YADC Yet Another Double Century

Lila: Dad, how is it not crazy that you go out for 200 mile bike rides

Me: That’s where the good stuff happens

Lila: You always say that. What does that mean

Me: Oh, so many things! There is the Zen/EMDR meditative experience of the 38K+ alternating pedal strokes that layer on with the planning, preparing and execution of the ride to enter into a state that can only happen a few times a year if I am lucky. A state that takes me back to that first 200 miler from Knoxville to Nashville 34 years ago. Those 200 milers from Cincinnati to Portsmouth and back when mom and I were first getting to know each other. The 200 milers from Atlanta to Milledgeville when mom and I lived and wed there. And the 2 dozen or so rides from home to one of the lighthouses on Presque Isle that I’ve done over the last 13 years. It’s like going back to a place inside yourself you don’t often visit but is home. Like when you reconnect with an old friend that you never thought you’d see again and it wakes up a part of yourself you had not known for a long time but then that stays with you and becomes part of the current version of yourself as you go about your way. There is also the element of being in the zone where your legs are just pedaling on their own, doing their job because that is what they were meant to do and that is what they have trained and conditioned for and you are just in the cockpit manning the controls, guiding the ship and absorbing the blue skies above, the breathtaking beauty of the landscape as you pass through it and the smiles and waves you get from folks along the way. And then, after you get a few of those in each summer you feel prepared to try for the big one. To reach inside yourself and see if you still have what takes to do all that for half again as far while mating that with a fundraising campaign where anyone that wants to can be a part of the experience of the huge task we have to help put an end to hunger and food insecurity. And then when that is all done for the season, besides feeling pretty good inside, I feel a bit more worthy to be one of those that stand before our community and blow the shofar to sound the blast of freedom and send it on its journey around the globe until the next year.

Lila: Maybe you’re just not getting enough oxygen to your brain.

Me: Maybe