Tour de Bass

My “getting off the couch and moving” effort began back in April when I decide to bike for MS. Joedie, a friend and former co-worker, bravely face her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, so I dedicated my ride to her. I want to live in gratitude that I’m healthy and mobile and beg the universe I can stay that way as long as possible. The aging process brings about such obvious yet scary realities. 

ride signThis final bike marathon for the year played out in the form of an intended 28-mile route on a dreary morning I embarked on before the October sunrise last Sunday. 

Lesson one:  download the GPS ahead of time 

Lesson two:  download the planned 28-mile route 

These two important strategies for success are especially important when cycling without a partner. My lack of technological preparation led me to three misdirections resulting in seven and a half extra miles traversed along the way. The first mis-step occurred at the half-way point when I continued the path that was actually the 50-mile route. Imagine my shame at having a septuagenarian recommend the GPS app. 

ride selfieMy second mistake came from following what I thought were road markings through a random neighborhood. The automated “ding” warned of my being off-route, but I thought I knew better. Thank goodness I saw two other stragglers who also turned around at the rest stop in an effort to bypass impending rain. They soon lost me in their proverbial dust, and I then failed to notice the street marking recommended by the aforementioned GPS voice. 

Lesson three:  Follow the GPS route

Much to my chagrin, the rain descended just before I heard someone bellow from behind about my missing that turn. I loathe feeling helpless. I can’t stand to ask a man for directions. And both happened. A self-reliant life spent being stubbornly independent brought me to this moment.

I now call what happened “being swept,” as the guy who found me off-course said he was running “sweep” for people who’d lost their way … like me. Being humble means relenting my control, learning my error (or in this case, errors), and realizing I need help sometimes. Which I absolutely HATE! 

ride store The future will tell if I have any more bike races in me. I say that because 52 feels very old on the saddle when it’s raining. My left quad muscles exclaims that sentiment to me vehemently while I’m at it. My own inner monologue is the toughest thing to beat, but playing music on a wi-fi speaker in my water bottle holder helps draw me out of my head. 

Lesson four:  Keep spinning

I call it “embracing the suck,” meaning no matter if your Hello Kitty socks are sopping wet and you’re riding into or somehow against the wind’s direction, you keep going because the end is inevitable. You might feel like shit on the side of the road, but the wheels must keep moving. You’ll get there one way or another, so you may as well go laughing (even at yourself) and singing your favorite song.

4 Comments

Filed under biking, life, writing

4 responses to “Tour de Bass

  1. Stacey Townsend

    Katy,
    As I told our mutual friend in his octopus card not so long ago “keep on keeping on!” This one reminded me of my many Katy trail rides with my girlfriends when I just wanted to pull over and quit but knew the only way off the bike was to keep on going till I got to the end. So proud of you and your journey….. you’re an inspiration (not enough to get me off the couch but still)

    • Thanks for your kind words, Stacey, and for following this journey! Another cycler once told me it takes just as much energy to walk up that hill as it does to ride it. While that may be true, I’m usually about to lose my balance and fall over in a fugue of delirium. I just don’t want to ever call the “Sag Wagon.” I’ve got enough sagging going on as it is. 🙂

  2. reciperecords

    Oh Katy!!! You are an inspiration! While I would never embark on a herculean goal such as this, you made me think for three seconds that I should do that some day…. You are a spirit of peace and I’m proud of you for supporting your friends. Sending you much love!!

    • Thanks, Lanea – that’s so nice of you! Doing it has really helped me get out of my head, which I’ve needed so badly since losing Mom. Music helps a lot, too, which you absolutely know soothes the soul.

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