After my final professional race, I remember my first day that it was raining and I was presented the opportunity to ride or not ride. I chose to ride.
Sure, I’m the first to admit that there’s an endorphin rush to which I likely have an addiction. As opposed to meth or Ho-Hos, I’m okay with athletics as my substance of choice. I remember pushing my departure later and later, banging out a few more hours of work, slurping down coffee, and eventually heading out the door. And just like a young Will Ferrell, I had an awesome time! I wasn’t bothered suffering through intervals, I didn’t have to stare at a power meter the entire day, didn’t meter out my intake of carbohydrates over the course of the ride; I just pedaled and soaked it in.
I arrived to California on my pilgrimage west just over one year ago. I got into town late on a Friday night, and started The Coast Ride version 2016 with a 5:30am wake up on Saturday morning. It rained, it was windy, hugging the coast for 375 miles, there was more gritty sand in my drivetrain, nose, eyes, and ears than I would ever prefer.
Bike racing was rarely a job. I was paid to ride a bike for a decade and it was amazing. There were certainly days that were more tedious than others. The days when it was 34 degrees and raining and there’s a long training session on the calendar are tougher than others. But I’m the first to recognize how nice it is. So during last year’s Coast Ride, I really did have fun. Voluntarily ride from San Francisco along the scenic Highway 1 coast to Santa Barbara, with great support, and among friends? Sheesh, sign me up!
We wouldn’t be cyclists if we didn’t complain about the weather. Sure, the 2017 edition of the Coast Ride this past weekend with inGamba was downright frigid, but at least the sun was shining and I wasn’t plugging my way through a lengthy list of intervals. We had a blast.
And I’ll tell you what, I don’t miss this one single bit.