When you start cycling, you tend to go through many firsts. From your first flat, first fall, first commute to work, etc. - they’re all milestones and they don’t stop the deeper you get into cycling.
I’ve experienced several firsts these past three months. One of the most recent was completing my first 100 miles in a single day at the NYC Century. I’ve done the Five Borough Bike Tour and Tour de Bronx before, but this particular event combined features of both tours by passing through several boroughs in open traffic.
I’d be lying if I said I did some intense training for the ride. Only two days of riding fifty miles were dedicated in the month leading to the century. The idea of riding 100 miles did seem a little intimidating, but figuring that I was already riding approximately five days a week on a fixed-gear, I had a feeling my legs would be just fine on a road bike. And…they were.
Despite the early 6 A.M. wake-up call to be at Central Park, there wasn’t much to complain about. A century of miles is a lot for anyone, but it’s great to be able to suffer along with other New Yorkers and make friends along the way. Even though there were no street closures, you still ride with a sense of security and the rest stops really take care of your needs.
The century was a mental and physical hurdle. In other words, it was a milestone I felt I had to reach. Like anything else in life, creating goals for yourself is to progress. Having checked off the century allows me to now move on to the next. Setting new goals. Reaching other milestones. Earning other achievements.
A week later, I raced the NYC Suffer Cat, which would technically be considered my first Alley Cat AND first time riding brakeless. I didn't die and placed 16th out of 30/40 other competitors. Another accomplishment - I survived.
From centuries, street races, a new fixed-gear bike, to having a photo used in Eurobike - the cycling world has been leaving me fulfilled, yet hungry.
2015 isn’t even over, but I’m already looking towards the new year.
2016 is already rolling in possibility.