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Cyclocross For Roadies: How and Why to Get Started - Buy Now!

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Apologies to Kenneth Grahame, but…

"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about on bikes." (apologies to Kenneth Grahame, of course)

Although I love boats (especially canoes), it seems to me that bikes are even more worthy of ‘messing about’ with. Walking home from work yesterday, I was still feeling burnt out, and not very motivated to ride. The thunderstorm had passed over, so I couldn’t use the weather as an excuse to mope around home. However, I just had no motivation to ride.

Using my ‘you always enjoy it once you get going’ excuse, I managed to convince myself that it’s time to start training for ‘cross season, and I could just go out for an easy spin to get a feel for the ‘cross bike again. Since I am away for work on Monday, I’ll be missing the final chance this year to set the hour mark in a TT, so I think the TT bike will be retired for the season (although I may still do a few 15s from Union Hall…) What better time to start getting ready for ‘cross?

I threw on the Mountain Bike shoes, swapped pedals from the MTB to the ‘cross bike, and headed out towards Glen Tay. I have long been hoping to check out the old railbed trail from Glen Tay west, so hopped on and flew up to Brooke on the trail. Within a few minutes, I was covered in mud from the puddles, and couldn’t wipe the huge shit-eating-grin off my face as the weeds and bushes whipped by and slapped me in the face and legs. Pure joy!

Despite my intent to go ‘easy,’ I ended up pushing fairly hard, and put in a solid hour-long effort at a steady ‘race pace’ while at the same time exploring some new trail and regaining some motivation for the fall. I returned home to hose off the bike and 10 lbs of mud that had soaked into my shorts and chamois, and despite being a bit tired, was more ‘refreshed’ than I have been in a long time.

Once again, it takes a break from the ‘routine’ to discover the pure joy that can come from riding a bike. A solid reminder that sometimes getting out there is the hard part, but not enjoying yourself when you finally do is even harder!

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