Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Days Gone By

I did my typical ride today of 32 miles.  10 miles out the same direction and then decide if I want to do 25-60 miles.  The reason for this is that I like to ride from my home and this area provides the best cycling area around.  I miss the days when I would head in any direction and follow roads I have never been on.  Sometimes it was a great find with winding, rolling hills and shade trees.  Sometimes it was right into a head wind up a steep hill with traffic.  In either case it was an adventure, never knowing what was around the next bend.  I miss those rides.  Since getting reacquainted with cycling over the past 25 years, I have come to know most roads within a 40 mile radius of my home.
I was talking to an associate of mine the other day.  He said what he like most about biking, was you see things you miss by car, but also have the ability to quickly change scenery that you can't do with walking.  That was one of my hooks that brought me back into cycling.  I remember in the early 80's, buying my blue and white Mongoose mt bike at my LBS for $220.  It was a 18 or 21 speed with thumb shifters. I quickly learned I was not for mt biking.  I replaced the knobby tires with no name slick street tires.  I changed the flat handle bars with ones with a vertical bend for a more upright seating position.  I added fenders, no name rack and panniers and I was feeling the love.  I took that bike everywhere.  I commuted, went to the store, the beach and took it camping.  I don't think in the 15+ years I ever changed the drive chain.  I just aired up the tires and greased the chain and off I went.  It was then that I joined a cycling club and learned proper cycling habits.  I also bought a couple of road bikes, but nothing was like my Mongoose.  I eventually found recumbents and so it goes, but nothing brings a greater smile than the days of exploring untraveled roads.

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