“Want to join a few nuns on a biking adventure?” they asked.
“Sure, that sounds like fun,” I said.
“It’s a one-day bike ride…just 62 miles through Indiana.”
Breathing stopped and silence filled the air...and I was not speaking.
“You are a runner. It’ll be easy,” they said
What did I get myself into? I had only just started biking last year after a 10-year hiatus and now I was being asked to ride 62 miles in one day. Yikes! Questions started flooding my mind! Would I make it? How does one even train for such an event? Do I need special riding gear? Does my bike need a tune-up? But then I took a deep breath and remembered, that I’ve trained for 7 marathons and countless other races, so I could train for a 62-mile bike ride. Right??
And that’s how it all started. I committed to joining the Cycling With Sisters group to ride 62 miles for social justice issues. It’s a spiritual adventure that combines riding, prayer, and the online community from Chesterton to South Bend, Indiana. So, I grabbed a pen and began to map out my plan.
Just like training for a marathon, I need to build up my mileage gradually in order to risk injury. I’ve made the mistake of running too many miles too fast and the end result was not pretty—a torn meniscus. Ouch! I sure don’t want that to happen again, so my plan includes riding 4 days a week, with at least one of those rides being 10 miles or longer. Eventually, these rides will build to a 45-mile ride closer to the cycling event.
As luck would have it, my daughter just learned to ride a bike and loves it. She loves it so much that she is waking up at 6:30 in the morning and begging to go riding! Now I have no excuse not to train for this epic bike ride and I’ve got the added bonus of having a training partner. Even my son likes to get into the action as he happily climbs into the bike carrier when mommy tells him it is time to go biking. Our long rides usually include a stop at the local ice cream shop now!
Biking has brought on a whole new joy for me, especially since I get to experience it with my kids. Running has always been my passion, but there is something about biking that I just can’t put into words. Maybe it is the wind blowing in my face or the overwhelming sense of peace that I feel. It’s that one time of day that I can let the stress and worry go and just ride and I’m loving that ‘free’ feeling.
The questions that I had when I started this training have settled and with my plan in place, the motivation from my family and the Cycling with Sisters community, I know that I will be able to finish those 62 miles in September! But, I have a strong feeling that my biking adventure won’t end there either. I have fallen in love with this sport, and just like running, I plan to ride for a very long time!
Are you ready to dust off your bike? What are you waiting for? Grab your helmet and get those wheels spinning – the trails are waiting!
To learn more about Cycling with Sisters and to follow my journey, check out their website at www.cyclingwithsisters.org.