How is it I get younger each year?

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How is it each year I get younger? That’s me in the middle with Blackie.

Each winter, I train for the upcoming cycling season. I am not a racer. I don’t tour the world. No, I just cycle. I hit the gym to spin, strengthen and stretch. I continue to commute on my bike to the office logging as many kilometres as I can despite the cold, and wet weather. Come spring, I am back out on the road bikes, testing myself on familiar training routes. Each spring, I seem stronger than the season before. This spring is no different.

I am stronger on the bike than I was last fall following months of cycling. I can tell by the little things. I climb familiar hills in higher gears. I crest grades faster than ever before. I descend faster, drop lower on the bars, tuck tighter, and pick straighter lines. I take more difficult, steeper routes home. I maintain a faster pace over longer distances. These are little things, but they demonstrate I am a little stronger, faster, and more confident than last year.

Anyway, what does getting older mean? Sure, I have a few more wrinkles, a little more grey, and carry some extra weight, but with a little effort, I continue to improve. I am sure a day will come when I begin to climb more slowly, descend more cautiously, and take a less aggressive line. A day may even come when I am unable to straddle a saddle. But for now, cycling has suspended time, and kept me feeling young.

And, isn’t that what cycling is? A trip back to childhood when cycling was play.

 

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17 thoughts on “How is it I get younger each year?

  1. I feel the same way. Each year, I am generally fitter and stronger than I was the year before. It’s kind of amazing. I hope we can both keep it going for many more years.

    • Thanks Jim. Well, the ride is certainly part of it. I have all my bikes pimped out the way I like and that must account for some of the speed. If nothing else, they look good, and I feel better. 🙂

  2. I think cycling is one of those pursuits you can continue right up until the end. It’s gentler on the joints than something like running and you have the option to slow down and take it easy if you want to.

    • You are right. I used to run until I injured my right knee. It still bothers me even walking but I can cycle and not have any discomfort. Recently, I saw a short video featuring an 80 year old cyclist. He rides regularly with a group of younger men. He is slow, more careful, and attentive but he is outside in the fresh air enjoying himself. I hope that is me one day. And, you too 🙂

  3. It is such a pleasure to read a text like that. I love cycling. You made me think that I should be more determined and diligent, as insofar the chilly weather has beaten my will to bike.
    Good on you! Keep young.

    • It took me several years to figure out what to wear. Once I learned how to keep warm and dry, I began cycling more. In fact, I have learned to actually like it. Once of the concerns was my bike. i have several expensive bikes that never set the wet. Once I rebuilt an old bike as a commuter, a bike I love but don’t care if it gets wet, I biked more. I encourage you to do the same. 🙂

      • I know what you mean but I don’t try if the wind force is above 4-5. I broke my neck once in a car accident, and unfortunately I have sometimes neck and headache, when fighting strong winds. This country is flat but our weather is mostly nasty. Still, I think I should give it a try. Thanks for the encouragement.

      • I am sorry to hear about your neck. I know what that is like. And, wind is the worst. Relentless. I didn’t realize you had such inclement weather there.

    • Some say it is the company you keep. I work with a team half my age. I ride with much younger cyclists. I enjoy, and am inspired by younger people. People my age seem old, at least to me. Most younger people have hope, plans, enthusiasm and an appetite for life. Older people, not so much. That’s the measure of age 🙂

      • Well that’s funny, I tend to work with older people and get along with them much better as a general rule. But I get your point, I guess being friends with older people means I act older, it’s a mirroring thing…

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