Saturday, March 20, 2010

Counting my Blessing

While heading home after a group ride this week I got to thinking about how really lucky I am. The list of items I should be thankful for kept popping in my head. It seemed like the list would go on and on. When I am doing long solo rides there is plenty of time to ponder deep thoughts but this was after a shorter group ride. I guess I was feeling blessed with the way the week had gone.
Our health is the biggest blessing that most of us seem to take for granted. Having the ability to ride a bike is great let alone for the distances and speed we do. Bill Lang is the Big Dog of the year. He has had a tough couple of years but continues to ride. Click on his name to read a short story.
I have a great family that supports my insane adventures. Dragging them 4000 miles across the western U.S. last year for RAW just proves that. My wife has always been supportive of my training and racing. With Ultra-distance training the long rides can get really long and mean riding from sunrise to sunset on weekends. Not to mention the financial commitment.
I have a couple friends that have been convinced to join me on more then one occasion. Mike Doyle and Bill Ford have both completed Balltown several times, ridden with me out to RAGBRAI, completed the Midwest 12 hour challenge and numerous long training rides. Chad Bishop and Greg Harper (both accomplished racers) force me to work on speed during shorter training rides.
I am fortunate to have a nice paying job that lets me get off work at 2:30 each day to allow me to ride outside, without lights, even in the middle of winter. On early spring days with nice weather like last week that really is a plus.
Just living in rural Iowa is a blessing. I live just north of town and when the snow is melting and the city streets are sloppy I don't have to mess with it. There are many roads around Muscatine that are great to ride, paved and gravel. I am glad I don't have to fight traffic each time I ride or load my bike to get someplace safe.
I am sure there are many more blessing I am lucky to have. On your next ride as you are in the middle of no-where let your mind drift away from the worries of life and take time to count your blessings and be really thankful of the great life we all enjoy.
It was a great week of riding with the weather finally looking like the end to winter is near. Although, as I type this there is a blanket of snow on the ground. Iowa weather at it's finest.
A quick recap of the week starts with a 112 mile ride on Sunday. This was the longest ride for the year and consisted of several smaller rides. The scheduled ride was the bike club St. Patrick's Day ride at 1:00. There was 7 of us that completed a 32 mile loop. Greg Harper and I added a loop afterwards and then I took the long way home to make 112. I ran a little short on food during the second loop but started feeling better towards home.
The weather for the week was great. Low 60's and sunny was the standard for most days except Tuesday. Daily totals for the weekdays were 70, 60, 39, 71 and 13.

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