It was New Year’s morning 2011 when I made the decision. It is always easy to make resolutions when you step on the scale that first morning of the year, isn’t it?
Here I was with a massive hangover, overweight, bad knees, bad shoulder, bad back, bad everything. My prescriptions were laid out on the counter so I could start another day, another year. This is not what being 45 is supposed to feel like.
Being athletic and enjoying the outdoors had faded from my memory. No more tennis, softball, basketball or running. It was just too hard and hurt too much. Depression has been a part of my life since my teen years. Life was not getting any more enjoyable. I felt like a falling plane in a death spiral headed for the ground.
I looked in the mirror and said “Stop being a p***y.” Since that day, the bike became a big part of my life. Over the course of the next few years, I got stronger, rode over 12,000 miles, lost 50 pounds, improved my diet, and gave up alcohol entirely, except for New Year’s Eve because my rebel streak believes that resolutions must be broken!
Something else happened along the way though. Maybe it was all the dopamine released during my rides that turned me into a social person, which is something that I am certainly not. What else that I found was that my experience was not unusual. In fact, there are thousands whose stories are similar to mine. Earlier this year, I rode with Josh Rowe from Chico in a group ride. Several years ago, he tipped the scale at 325 pounds. In July, he finished well inside the top 100 in the Vineman. I could go on and on.
Cycling is a community. We are a little strange, we like it that way. The purpose of this blog, is talk about everything related to the bike and to give a forum for others to submit questions or stories to be shared. There is so much to talk about! I have been lucky enough to have traveled through all 50 states, and I can tell you emphatically that we live in Oz when it comes to bike riding. No other location in this country provides the year-round experience that Sonoma County offers.
Locals gripe about the spandex-clad crowd, but we have become a major destination in the cycling hemisphere that is pumping millions of dollars annually into our local economy. I have run into large groups of Europeans that have made our Eden their holiday, just because of the bike. Add in the benefits from hotels, food, shopping, bike rental and more.
I will touch on many subjects from the pro scene, equipment, training, riding here and elsewhere, politics of riding, Strava, and hopefully many of you.
– Bruce McConnell