Look Who’s Loving the Bike – May
As you know, at the top of each month we like to feature stories and memories of why people are loving the bike. Please take a look at our May lovers…..feel free to submit yours to us at any time (Don’t be shy – Send them here).
Louise Neal – Darlington, UK
“I am the Cycling Officer for Darlington Borough Council, the only town to be both a Sustainable Travel Demonstration and Cycling Demonstration Town. I am lucky that where I live is surrounded by great countryside for getting out and about on the bike. I use the bike for work journeys, leisure, fitness – a bit of everything. I’ll give any type of cycling a go – this year I’m definitely going to give mountain biking a try! My best cycling memory was getting a red Raleigh Apple for Christmas when I was about 6 and taking it out for its first spin on Christmas Day and falling off after realising that my dad was no longer holding the back of the saddle. But my best cycling experience has to be leading the Tour of Britain out of Darlington in September 2009. Being part of such a big event was definitely the most memorable cycling experience I’ve had.”
Matt Swiatek – Lehigh Valley, PA
“I love the bike for its countless benefits such as improved health, increased happiness, and true freedom. I love the bike for the camaraderie it offers; some of my best friends in life I’ve met through the bike, and it helps me stay in contact with old friends as well. The bike can help transcend obstacles in life, helps you push beyond limits and discover that you’ve always got more to offer. When I race, the bike is an extension of body; when I ride the simplest of days, the bike is an extension of mind. I love the bike beyond the tangible aspects such as carbon tubes and aluminum components. I love the bike for the pure joy it brings to me when I ride.”
Matt is rocking it over at www.eightplustwo.com, be sure to check him out.
Jeff Bean – San Diego, CA
“Riding a bike is part of who I am. I’m a cyclist, as well as husband, father, uncle, brother and friend. I started cycling early in life with a Huffy, complete with banana seat and sissy bar. I later progressed to a coveted Schwinn newspaper bike with kick-back hub before reaching a holy grail of sorts in college in the 1980s with my first Bianchi in the glorious bluish green hue of Celeste #227. That road bike cost me an extra year in studies. I missed many a biology lab in lieu of epic rides away from “the city.” On a bicycle, I was free to unlock my mind and explore far beyond that which I could read in books or hear in lectures. Today, I alternate between two road bikes and a mountain bike, each loved equally and rotated by season or situation. And I keep exploring.
To ride a bicycle is to be alive, to feel your heart beating in your ears, blood coursing through your temples, celebrating the elements. A cold wind may brace your face. A withering heat might destroy your resolve to go far. And a 100-year rainstorm may drown your enthusiasm. But only momentarily, for a day or two, maximum. That’s right. The ride’s the thing. Being on a bike is that dayum good. You’ll ride under almost any circumstances because you love it. It’s part of your persona. It makes you happy. It gives you peace. It’s right with the world. That’s why I ride.”
Check out more of Jeff’s cycling stories and adventures at www.bikecrave.com.
Nicoper – USA
“Long ago, back in summer 2005 while I was still competing on junior levels, there was one day that I will never forget. It was summer brake and one of the hottest summers since I was riding. All my teammates were either in training camp with national team or simply didn’t feel like training in such heat. I don’t know why, but one day I set out alone with a plan to ride some 130 km through semi-mountain terrain. I left my home in 6:15 with breakfast in my pockets an some money to replenish my reserves later on. It was work day and I was just amazed how empty the world was. It was unbelievable, the road that I feared the most had no cars, trucks, not even buses. It was only me, clear sky, no wind and 25-30 degrees C. About half way from where I started I turned back home taking different route that included one 12km climb on Kosmaj mountain. Again everything was amazingly quiet, I could here my heart beating like mad, my fork squeaking when I got up from saddle, feel my legs burning and I haven’t seen I single man or women by the road. The world was mine. When I was near the top I was drenched in my sweet, with only half a bidon of water and 50km to go. Moment I got up I felt cold wind and there was before me I massive formation of dark clouds going my way that I haven’t seen to that point as I was constantly riding away from them. Soon rain started pouring wind was blowing me from one side of the road to the next (I had 59 kilos and 172cm). In a same time I was glad that the heat was gone, scared to death that I will be hit by I car or a thunder and tired as I was riding into the wind.
I came home at half past ten. Belgrade was dry, no rain fell there, my brother had just got up and started his breakfast, and I just went to have a shower. Happy, tired, dirty.
Why I love it? In those four hours I experienced more, seen more and thought of more things than probably all of those who have seen that day just as one more till the weekend. I know this is probably glorified version of what happened, for sure I have forgotten all the bad things, but what I remember and how I remember it is what is important. Right?”
Sabinna Den – Taichung, Taiwan
“Cycling the other weekend something occurred to me…and this is what I like about going for a ride. Ordinary things seem different. Like an ordinary bike ride suddenly becomes “that” ride, on “that” Sunday that will forever be associated with something you think, or something that happens. No ride is ever the same. Everything is always different, even if just a little bit. A route I often take is a 50km circuit through the hills just out of town. I’ve done this so many times. But the light, the colors, the smells, the feeling, especially the feeling are all a bit different, sometimes a lot different…and the tune that you sometimes hum in your head as you spin along the tarmac–it’s usually always different. And then there’s the times when you get it all out of your head and are just simply cycling. Cycling, music and bikes (road, cyclocross, Bmx, mountain, folding etc. and the massive variation within all of those), all resemble each other, although I think music, classical music is the big picture item here. A piece of music like Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony (I think it’s got it all) is made up of waves of variation. There’s always variation with allegro to crescendo as the storm comes, thru andante as you move into the climb, and moderato on the descent (of course!). It’s not that only a cyclist knows the feeling. But cycling for me, as well as being involved in the bicycle industry, sure is a great way to get in tune with life’s constant variability.”
Read more about this cycling entrepreneur and blogger at www.satincesena.net.
Myrna Mibus – Webster, MN
“One of my most memorable biking memories includes learning how to bike with my ever-cheerful-when-biking husband. We were biking up an enormous hill last summer shortly after I decided to do a 30 mile charity ride. This was just a few weeks after I started riding and I didn’t know anything about riding hills and had never been out on real roads and my hubby Owen kept chatting away, attempting to offer encouragement while I struggled up the hill. I didn’t want encouragement, or maybe I just didn’t want his encouragement. I wanted to be miserable or something, to struggle in silence, so the next time he said something “helpful” I told him to eff off. Whoops. Not a very nice thing to say. But he was annoying me and that’s what I did (Don’t tell my mother. I’m 43 but she doesn’t know I swear). I told him I was sorry but I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t do so until the road flattened out and the hills were behind us.
In the next few weeks before the 30 mile tour I learned to ride hills on my own and gained confidence. Owen learned to be quiet when he rode hills with me. By the time we rode the 30 mile tour we had ridden together enough that we could ride together pretty well without any swearing at Owen on my part. Though I will admit to swearing in general a few times when we tackled big hills.
This spring we bought road bikes and have decided that biking is what we do and now we joke about the days when I used to swear at Owen. We ride up hills, down hills and across flat land pretty well together now, are enjoying our new bikes and the time we spend together riding them. Now our kids, Rose is nearly eleven and Ryan almost 8, are biking with us and we’re looking forward to logging many, many, miles together. We’re all Loving the Bike!”
Myrna’s great story continues at www.myrnacgmibus.blogspot.com.