I learned when you suffer, you suffer alone. Right towards the end of the 40-mile bike tour, you hit the Verrazzano Bridge, (the second longest suspension bridge in the world). The incline goes on for-ev-er! You just keep climbing and you think, “Surely, this is some kind of illusion. How can something just keep going up?” You cannot answer that voice in your head, because you just have to keep pedaling and keep suffering.
There were many people walking their bikes up the eternal incline. But not me, because we borrowed our awesome friends’ road bikes and my bike had a will of its own and the wheels just kept turning.
But during those grueling moments of riding uphill, that’s when I thought, “I’m suffering alone.” Surrounded by 30,000 other riders, still, I felt alone. Suffering makes you feel all alone. As if you will never reach the top. Fortunately, my son waited for me some ways ahead. I was not alone.
The coast down was pretty sweet. And we did it very fast together, whizzing by the signs the volunteers held that said, “Slow down!”
We enjoyed the finish and the festival and the ferry ride from Staten Island.
I did the 5 Boro Bike Tour in 2011 too. I didn’t do it last year because I didn’t sign up in time, even though I was going to join the Team Fox and raise money for Parkinson’s Research.
Next time I do the bike tour, I have to remind myself not to suffer. I have to remember that eventually the path will lead downhill.
I would like to write more about the bike tour, but, honestly, I’m ex-haust-ed. I have to go to sleep.
Am writing this while watching the Olympic hopefuls sail along rainy London streets on their bikes. The women are so fast. I love sports where you go fast, like skiing and biking.
The other day I was riding my bike to work and there was a woman running faster than I was riding on my bike. That was one fast runner.
There’s used to be a myth that only men liked the adrenaline rush of the high-speed chase. But women (and kids) do too. It’s a human instinct to push our physical limits and thrill with the ride. We were born to run.
And now that I’ve admitted my own need for speed, let me post a couple of pictures from my long walk in the Adirondacks.
While I love to run and ride and go fast, it’s easier to snap a pic when you walk and amble and go slow. It’s easier to savor the moment when you slow it all down.
To catch a good photo, you have to pause to frame it. To enjoy a moment, you have to stop and savor it. And any sport that you do outdoors, reminds you to love nature.