Wednesday, June 15, 2011

 Putterham to Provincetown by Bike (...36)

One hobby I'm getting to enjoy more during this layoff period is biking.  I biked as a kid, but when my sister re-introduced me to it in 1999 in the form of triathlon racing, I began to love it.  It's become a serious passion.  In fact, since then, each year I enjoy it more.  I'm stronger, fitter, faster, and more skilled every season.  I've read Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, in which he says it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. This is something like 10 years if you can put in 3 hours a day.  I'm over 10 years in to my biking practice, but probably only halfway there because I get well under 3 hours in of a day of biking.  How exciting to think I could get even better over the next 10 years!

My next goal is to do a road race or criterium.   I've had this goal for several years.  For the last few years, since shattering my collar bone in a triathlon race, I've been too fearful to enter a road race or a crit.  The speed factor scares me. The need to ride several tight corners in a crit, among a group of cyclists, terrifies me.  It requires a riding strategy with which I'm not yet familiar.  But I know conquering this fear would be good for my sense of confidence on the bike.  And, of course, it's just plain thrilling to conquer a fear!  I hope to do it this summer.  If I muster up the courage, I may love road racing.  If I don't love it, then simply completely one race would satisfy me.  That, and learning to bike with no hands would be terrific.

Today, I did a bike event of a whole other variety: an endurance cycling event of 130 miles.  I rose at 2:25AM, road to meet a few riders about 4 miles from my house, road to Putterham, an area in Brookline, MA, and from there began a ride to Provincetown, MA with about 200 other riders.  We finished around noon.  After a delicious cold beer, sandwich, and some salty snacks, we grabbed the ferry back to Boston, bike in tow.  I road my bike through Boston to ride 5 miles back home.  Ouch.   It's a leetle bit uncomfortable to hop on the bike when your bum is sore from a century plus ride.

Somerville to Provincetown bike ride: 130 miles

This is the ride marker, spray painted  along 130 miles of road from Boston to Provincetown.  The marker in this picture indicates to a biker to take the next right turn.  It's such a handy way to mark a ride so you don't have to refer to a printed cue sheet.

Heads of bikers at the 95 mile stop.  We revived ourselves with peanut butter, Nutella, and Fluff on bread!  Plus bananas and fig newtons.  So much better than more powerbars, and gu.

Mile 95:  Looking tired but ready for more miles.

 Entering Provincetown, MA mile 125

Waiting for the ferry back to Boston I spotted these riders and their impressively bright tandem bike.  So neat!  There are 4 water bottles on that machine!

Beautiful view from the ferry dock.  At this point I was soooo looking forward to getting home and so very grateful to be able to sleep in tomorrow.

I met such a variety of people on this ride, many of whom have switched careers several times already.  It was inspiring to hear about significant career shifts, like one who was a psychologist turned sous chef.  Another started as a marine biologist and went back to school for finance.  This gives me hope that it's not near impossible as it can feel to switch career gears drastically and find success and satisfaction in it. 


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