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Humbled by the Bike

Actually, I've been humbled by a lot of things lately, but I felt particularly put in my place by my bike ride this evening. I took the road bike out to Flatwoods after work, in my first real effort to do more than the typical 12-mile route I do. I thought this new route, a paved path without the interruption of traffic and surrounded by trees, would be inspiring. And while it was a beautiful setting, I just didn't have a great ride. I can't seem to go much faster than 15mph, and even then other cyclists buzz past me as if I'm barely turning my feet over. My thighs burn constantly, one knee gets tight, and my hands cramp.

I know I don't have a lot of power in my legs--it's been pointed out to me more than once, but this was ridiculous. I struggled to just get through 18.66 miles. Meanwhile, a man comes up along side me for some chit-chat and tells me how he's just out for a 38-miler. He asked me what speed I was trying to go, and when I told him 15, he pretty much told me to have fun and took off (which was actually quite alright with me).

And on top of that, I have a new squeak. It didn't start until I was about a third of the way into my ride, but it was ever-present thereafter, screeching with every turn of the pedals, rivaling the birds and every other noise-making creature hidden in the woods.

I know the squeak is fixable (of course, I'll have to figure just how), but the discomfort is not dissipating. This was supposed to be my "happy" alternative to running, but throughout the ride, I was just wishing I could run instead. But I can't. Not yet, anyway. Maybe I'll just stick to my single-gear, big, slow cruiser. That's my happy bike.

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