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Thursday, May 9, 2013

What attracts you to cycling?

Today someone asked me "what attracts you to cycling?"  

           I would have to say its the adventure.  In the winter of last year I decided I was going to try my hand at the long course solo male class at the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain bike Series(WEMS).  I didn't really know how hard it was going to be or what was going to happen during those races, but I knew it was something I wanted to do.
           In my first WEMS race I pretty much failed, I went out hard and ran out of energy fast.  A lack of training and knowledge of nutrition caused me to spend much of the race on the side of the trail with my head down.  Toward the end of that race, when I was feeling my worst, I decided to quit.  I came into the pits, sat down, ate some food, went to check the results....  and that is when it happened.  I saw that if I went back out and did one more 10 mile lap I would move from 12th to 10th place.  That last lap was one of my slowest of the day, but I knew all I had to do was complete it and I would beat two more guys.  I ended up only doing 80 miles out of  a 100 mile race, but I came in 10th.  I was hooked.
           With these races I can push my self harder than I have ever imagined.  I would have never thought that I would go from finishing short of a 100 miles, to riding 28 hours straight in TransIowa.  It makes me wonder how far I can go, and where my bike will take me.  I still feel like I am improving so if I keep at it who knows where the limit is.
           The adventure is what gets makes me keep going.  I was riding to work the other day, and as the sun was rising over the horizon I thought to myself, "I could just ride all day long." Yeah my legs were still sore from Trans Iowa and my butt was hurting from not being healed yet, but that is just pain.  When I look back at the 28 hours of Trans Iowa I don't remember my abs screaming or my legs exploding with pain, I remember how much fun it was to get to the first check point.  Then the second checkpoint, then ride through the night and see the sun rise.  Then finally reach the finish.  That's what attracts me to cycling.

-David Swanson