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A gift to myself

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I turned 60 years old today!!!!!!!
Yesterday I gave myself a very important birthday gift that will stay with me forever. I gave myself a lesson in what is possible with a positive attitude and determination.
Shortly after my knee replacement surgery in June, I decided it would be a good exercise in my ability to access my capabilities if I were to ride my bicycle 60 miles on or before my birthday. Well, yesterday was the day!!!!
About a month ago, I told some people about my plans and some offered to ride with me. I thought that would be a great time, so I began preparing to ride to a small town 30 miles from home for lunch with my friends and then ride back. We even had a friend who offered to drive along with a bike rack and extra bike.
As of the beginning of the week, everyone except the chase car driver had backed out of the ride!!!
I told him he didn't have to use up a Saturday just to follow me, and that I would revise my route and just ride the paths and streets here in town. I was going to do this, even if I did it alone!!!!!!
Yesterday it was sunny, calm, and very cool. Perfect conditions!!!!!
After my normal morning activities ( weight workout, breakfast, and walk the dog) I headed out to start my ride. I had never ridden more than 25 miles in one day in my life, so I was very unsure of my ability to make my goal. I decided to start with one of my favorite bike paths, and just took off.
At 20 miles I headed home to have a snack and refill my water supply. When I got home I found a friend who had just stopped in to visit, so my return was delayed slightly. The next route was to a new path that I had never been on before, and since I had made plans to meet another friend ( who doesn't ride) for lunch, that ride was only 15 miles. Even at that I was ahead of the schedule of half before lunch and half after!!!!
By the time I rode home to take my dog outside, the wind had come up it was now blowing at 15 to 20 MPH from the southwest, and some gusts were stronger. So to show how smart I am, I took of to explore more areas that I had never been on before. My route lead me out of town and onto 4 miles of gravel road!!! Not wanting to go back on that, I found a paved road leading to the main highway back to town. It is a nice 4 lane with wide shoulders, so I thought it would be perfect. WRONG!!! I was going directly into the wind - and I found 2 hills that I had never noticed when I was in my car. I am not a very fast rider, but I didn't know I could ride that slow and stay upright!!! LOL
I got back to town out of water, tired and with 9 miles left. So I took a short break, filled my water bottles and took off again. The goal was in sight and I WOULD reach it!!!!!!
I hit a path close to home and took off. By that time I was really watching as the tenth of miles ticked by on my odometer!!! My calculations were right on. As I turned on to the street where I live, I saw 60.00 appear !!!!!!!
I was in the saddle for 6 hours total, and was very tired, but I DID IT!!!!!!!!!
I am proud of what I accoomplished and glad that I pushed myself to do it.
Who knows, maybe next year I'll go for 61!!!!!
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