Skip to content
May 16, 2012 / lynnettedobberpuhl

Blowing Off The Cobwebs

Spring is skipping happily toward summer, and I have finally gotten my bike out on the road. Both my bikes, actually. There was a rough patch in my life, following the birth of my second child and lasting for several years, during which I felt I was losing large parts of my identity as an individual. I loved my family, and loved my job (until I didn’t, when I stopped,) but I felt a little lost in the mix. I needed something fun that was just mine, and I remembered loving the wind on my face as I coasted down hills as a child. I bought a Raleigh bike with medium nubby tires, a cushy saddle and a straight handlebar. Something happened as I mounted the bike and pedaled off with no destination in mind. My focus on meeting others’ needs evaporated, with no one needy around. My preoccupation with concerns and to-do lists lifted. I could feel my blood coursing through my veins, practically singing, and I felt like I had come home.

I met Linda, a lovely woman from church, and we started to ride together. She had a road bike, built for higher speeds on paved roads and coaxed me into longer distances. She was the one who persuaded me to sign up for my first-ever organized ride: The Ironman Bicycle Classic in Lakeville, MN, so named because it offers distances of up to 100 miles in the early spring before anyone here is fully ready for long distances and because sometimes participants ride in snow, not because of any relationship with the Ironman Triathlon. Linda and I rode the 62 mile course in 1999, and I was hooked. She moved away, but I found an outdoor cycling group through the local fitness center. I bought a road bike, a Univega Modo Vincere. I eventually began organizing the group and teaching indoor cycling classes. I rode in recreational and fundraising events (including a few centuries, or 100 mile rides,) and even competed in a few events.

Then I turned, or re-turned to writing, and while I have never lost my love for cycling, it has become less and less a part of my life.  Now I ride one fundraising event a year, the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association, and a handful of rides with others or by myself each season. And this is the thing: getting back in the saddle is still like coming home. When I am in a bad mood or mentally blocked, pedaling 10, 15 or 20 miles in the fresh air blows off the cobwebs, bringing me clarity and inspiration. Nowadays I ride a Specialized Allez Comp, but I still get that Raleigh out once in awhile. Chasing speed and distance is a thing of my past, but I hope I never fail to find myself, when I am feeling a little lost, out there on the open road.

How or where do YOU find yourself, when you have felt the grind of life eroding away who you are?

Related post: Cyclists: Smug But Balanced

Related Post: The Finish Line

Advertisements

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. kvalleryy / May 16 2012 11:14 am

    Same place you do, my child. In fact, I’m taking Rae to the Bob Berger Rec Center to do his full rotation of machines and walk on the inside track–then I am liberating myself to an hour ride before I pick him up again. He may get a better all over workout, but I get the freedom of the road–wish we could do it together! I’ll never forget the St. Paul Classic or the 50 mile ride I attempted (and crashed and burned) and the one completed in the rain the next year! Great memories!

  2. crubin / May 16 2012 12:18 pm

    I should get my bike out–there really isn’t anything much better than that breeze flowing through your hair, is there?

    I don’t get much time for escape, but if I do, I’ll go for a long walk or go to a movie. Movies are a great way for me to shut down and lose myself in something else. Plus, I love the popcorn. 😉

  3. lizsturm / May 19 2012 11:42 am

    I used to bike everywhere in my 20’s since we didn’t have a car and I hated the bus. Now, since the kids are here I rarely go out without a massive kid trailer behind me. But I still fondly remember those awesome highway trips just for fun. I admire your super cycling! Good luck on that charity ride!

    • lynnettedobberpuhl / May 20 2012 8:41 pm

      Thanks! The kid trailer days were wonderful and absolutely horrible. I wish I could get one or both of them out to ride with me now!

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: