FROSTBIKE—A RACER’S REFLECTIVE PERSPECTIVE
I left this Sunday’s Frostbike experience with a real “warm fuzzy”. For the record, I hate the term “warm fuzzy” but I just couldn’t come up with a better way to describe how I felt. I contemplated what aspect of Frostbike gave me this “warm fuzzy”. . Hmmmm…..Well, I’d have to say that an old tune that only those of us who are into disco like myself would recognize, sums it up best. ”Right Back Where We Started From” is the name of the tune. Maxine Nightengale is the artist. The lyrics go something like this….”Well it’s all right and I’m comin home. Gotta get right back to where we started from…”. That is my Frostbike experience in a nutshell.
When I first started riding, it was Teresa, Lo, our friend Tom, and me. We’d cruise for about 20 miles and then hang out at Sasha’s for a while. We chatted and screwed around along the way. There was no agenda. We rode simply because we loved to ride and truly enjoyed each other’s company. This is the initial gratifying experience that drew me into cycling.
As time passed, I began to feel a need for speed and got into racing. I love racing. Racing’s physical challenges are a rush. It continually beckons you to push yourself to the next level. The physical and mental rewards are downright addictive, not to mention glamorous. When you tell your friends that you race bikes, you are almost instantly catapulted to rockstar status. Heck, who doesn’t love to be a rockstar? Who doesn’t love to have their ride cheered on by loyal fans? All of that attention that really fluffs my feathers. The downside of all of this is that all of my rides became either training or racing rides. Heart rate became my focus. The whole ride for the fun of riding or being with friends shifted out of focus. Racing is fun but I was craving that laid back ride with friends.
Then along came Frostbike 2010. Suddenly I am RIGHT BACK WHERE I STARTED FROM. I am riding with a bunch of great people who just want to ride for the love of riding. Target heart rate is not mentioned once. How refreshing. The ride starts…Kube and I are chatting away. ..successful snot rockets are being cheered… unsucessful ones are being booed…Lo and I are steering our bikes through large puddles….bunny hopping over dead possums…yelling out “pantyhose up” or “fifth of vodka up” to steer the pack clear of various unusual obstacles in the road…getting a little sideways stopping on the wet streets…sharing stories about the evening before….THIS IS WHY I GOT INTO CYCLING. A couple rides ago, we found a dickey along the way in Forest Park for God’s sake. Top that. Frostbike, from my perspective, is an energizing return to the simple fun that got me so jazzed about cycling in the first place.
Focus on fun and you will surely find it.