Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One sport wonder

So if you've been following along with the #blogsquad themes, last week, we assigned a topic to another gal and this week, we are to chose one of those 7 questions and answer it ourselves.  I'm not sure if there's a rule against answering your own question, but if so, I'm about to break it.  Last week I asked Liz, "if you could do one (tri) sport for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why.  Also, what have been your fave event that you've done in that sport, and what is still on your list to do. Liz and I must be total opposites, as she had great reasons to love each sport and landed on jack of all trades, master of none.

Check out these lovely ladies' blogs and see what they chose! Erin Klegstad, Laurel RichardsonLizzie CullenChristine CoggerCaitlin ConstantineJennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

I've thought about this one a lot over the years, and hands down, it would be biking.  I think swimming is the easiest on your body and might have better longevity, but it's not that social, and my husband doesn't swim much, so it won't ever be something we can do together.  Running has always been my weakest link and is always the sport I will neglect the most in the off season.  It beats my body up the most (Achilles issues, hamstring, etc...), and it is the sport that honestly, gives me the least pleasure.  I have never run an open marathon in my life and have zip, zero, zilch itch to do one.  But what about seeing how "fast" I could run?  Doesn't really interest me.  I don't put much value on folks' open mary times, as they very rarely correlate to a post 112 mile ride marathon time.  I know there is value to running shorter races, but I will only do those in an effort to get faster overall in triathlon. 

This leaves us with biking.  I think there are lots of reasons it's my favorite.  It's the sport that we grew up doing as a family.  Riding a bike over long miles will inevitably bring out what is on your mind.  I've had some of my most meaningful and honest conversations on bikes, and I place a lot of value in that.  I've also had some big fights on bike rides, but they re usually long enough that there's time to make up ;). I dream about taking my bike all over the world with Mark and seeing beaches and countryside via two wheels.  I love my time spent both solo and with friends on the bike.  I'll always choose company, but sometimes a bit of alone time on the bike is just what you need to work out the brain. 

230k's of FUN!
I think my fave bike memories/routes can be whittled down to two trips.  When I was young, we used to go on TOSRV every year.  This is a 210 mile, 2 day event in Ohio and you sleep overnight in a gymnasium.  We would do this as a family, and I think my first ride was when I was 12.  I did it on the back of a tandem with my sis manning the front and my mom and dad along side.  It's a flat ride, and even then, I was competitive and we tried to hammer as best we could, while of course stopping at the many aid stations where you can consume more food that you were burning off!  The other bike ride that I would say is a must do, is the amateur Tour of Flanders.  This event takes place the day before the Spring Classic that the pro cyclists compete in and you can do the full course of 230k/142miles.  Mark and I did this in 2011

When in Belgium...waffles!
Pave and steep hills!
and it was amazing.  We got lucky with amazing weather, and the amount of cyclists was just awe inspiring.  Europe, really takes cycling seriously and I love that.  The route is challenging with the wind, hills and pavé and there are extra bragging rights for those who stay out of the smooth gutters and ride all of the pavé...I was making guttural noises by the last section of cobblestones, and Mark and I decided it might be a good time to ride with LESS pressure!  I was one of a small handful of women doing the whole route, so I got extra cheers, which made it extra fun.  The course is already lined with spectators on the famous climbs who are there in preparation of the next day.  The aid stations were filled with sweet Belgian waffles and frites at the end.  I would be remiss to not mention my back yard.  Although I don't really love climbing, I do enjoy the views it affords, and Northern California has some of the best riding in the world.

What is on my bucket list for cycling?  I would love to do a week in Italy or France and see some of the tour routes and even ride at the same time of the Tour de France and do a ride/spectate combo.  Also, the wine tasting wouldn't be bad, so I suppose I could be talked into that too!  I would also like to cycle parts of Australia and South East Asia. Both of these sections of the world have been high on my would love to visit list for a long time, so this would be a great way to see the world and get my bike on!


takewrning said...

That's awesome that you grew up riding TOSRV! I haven't done it in a few - was hoping to do it this year but they moved the date. :-(

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