When my wife, Shannon, and I got engaged, I bought her a ring; she bought me a bike.
It was an old, dark blue Motobecane touring bike with matching blue foam on the handlebars and a triple crank set.
Here, I won’t make you use your dormant imagination:
I hadn’t been on a bike in about 15 or 20 years, but Shannon loved cycling and thought I would, too.
As usual, she was right.
Even though I was terrible to start – both in terms of muscular endurance and sheer ability to stay upright – I realized early on that cycling was something I would love if I got better.
So I stuck with it.
I biked to work. I biked around the local park. I tried biking up some modest hills. Eventually, I braved the 15 km journey to my parents’ house. (It seemed dauntingly long at the time.)
It took me a while to really get comfortable on two wheels, but I did get there in time.
Then I got myself a proper road bike and retired old Bluey. That’s when I really went off the deep end.
I started attacking the local mountains with vigor, streaming the Tour before work, and basically orienting my entire life around cycling. I haven’t regretted it for a second.
Now, five years since first straddling my engagement bike, I’m set to start my racing career! That’s right, I said “career”. (I might be taking this a bit too seriously.)
I’ll let you know how it goes …