I must have been around 6 or 7 years old. My bike was this blue, or cyan colored bicycle that had been gifted too me not too long before the fact. At this point in my life I was ashamed of my bicycle riding: Most of my friends have been riding their bicycles for years, and I was still struggling to find the necessary balance to not use my training wheels.
To say I was constantly terrified is an understatement. Back then everything seemed scary and there was nothing I avoided more than pain altogether. Many years before I had fallen off my bike as I was trying to learn bow to balance myself, and was terrified of the act since. It was almost annoying that all it took was for my grandfather to take matters into his own hands and throw me (or at least it felt like I was thrown) along with my bicycle from our driveway to the street — and suddenly I could ride my bicycle like any other kid could.
Fast forward to the present time. I cycle an average 60 kilometers every week, not counting weekend rides, which is about half the amount I used to cycle a year ago, and a third of what I would do four years ago. While I have not been riding as much as I used to a few years ago, I can still defend myself when it comes to covering distances: 50 kilometers is something I can do with little effort any day, and with enough preparation I can do a century without getting too exhausted. For all intents and purposes, however, this is very little compared to what I wish I could cover. I unfortunately live in a reality where I am heavily influenced by people whom I like to call my heroes. Mike Hall, Lael Wilcox — people that I have been following (or followed) for years and the kind of person I aspire to be when it comes to my cycling goals.
A few months ago I wrote a post about how I wish I had more equipment with which I could bikepack properly, and now that I have the equipment that I did not have back then, I no longer have the endurance and physical condition to do as I did. Talk about the tables turning.
And the tables indeed turned. I realized that I had lost a part of myself as I stopped cycling as much as I did in the past. Cycling less not only made me un-fit and unhappy, but it also made me lose motivation to do many other tasks and hobbies I used to have back in the day. With that in mind, and for the sake of my own well-being, I made a conscious decision to cycle just as much as I used to before, and perhaps even a little bit more.
Today I cycled 17.5 kilometers after making an effort to get back on track, and should be raising my typical 60K to around 120 or 180 within the next two weeks. And from then on? Let’s see how far we can go in a single sitting every time.