Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why Do You Ride?

In an effort to market their Women’s Specific Design line, Trek Bikes recently held a contest and asked women to write an answer to the question, “Why do you ride?” I didn’t officially enter the contest, but it got me thinking – yes, why DO I ride?

Do I ride to race? I don’t think so…even if I didn’t race, I’d still love riding my bike.

Do I ride for my health? I guess that’s part of it…but, there are dozens of activities I can do for my health. For some reason, I choose biking.

Do I ride for the lovely tan I obtain? Although I’m proud of my cycling tan, the ridiculousness of how it looks when I’m not on the bike is not lost on me.

Do I ride for the strength it instills in me? I guess that’s another part, but I draw my strength from numerous places, not just from riding a bike.

So, then, why do I choose biking above all other activities? I think it comes down to one very simple thing – I like the way it makes me feel.

Even as I sit here typing I can easily find the place in my mind that knows exactly how I feel when I’m riding. The way the wind embraces my legs as they cut through the air with each pedal stroke combines with the burn of lactic acid filled muscles for a truly unique feeling. The stark contrast of pain and pleasure in this form are unattainable anywhere else in this life. I could run to engage my muscles; but I can’t travel fast enough by foot to really experience the wind. I could ride a motorcycle to feel the wind; but I wouldn’t be engaging my muscles enough. Part of what I experience is definitelyadrenaline. But, there's another part that is not so clearly defineable. Whatever it is, my heart rate has increased 30 bpm just writing about it.

If someone asked you right now, “Why do you ride?” What would you say?

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