Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finding the Smile

I rode away from the house yesterday headed for Lookout Mountain (, a ride that has become one of my regular training rides over the years.  This ride includes a 5-mile segment that is often raced; Tom Danielson holds the current record at just over 16 minutes.  I was planning on riding that section to better my current best time of 30 minutes.

As I rode the trail towards Golden a young lady passed me going the other direction.  She was in full kit, for the non-bikers reading, that’s the uniform that a bike racer wears, and went past fast enough to create a Doppler effect.  Here was someone who at least rides enough to spend money on matching clothes to do it, or possibly belongs to a team.  But what really caught my attention as she rode by was the smile on her face.  She was clearly enjoying herself. 
After she rode past I realized that I was in ‘duty’ mode.  I have recently committed to race RAAM and have lately felt that my training has been lacking.  I rode away from the house today as if I was headed to work.  This young lady reminded me that I do this for fun! Catching the next rider on the road or recording a personal best isn't a matter of getting paid; it has nothing to do with my value as a rider.  It’s just a personal challenge, the inner conversation of, “do you have it today?” 

As I rounded the next corner I also began to smile. 

I didn't set a personal best from pillar-to-post yesterday… but I had a great time doing it!


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