April 30, 2010 Posted by Amy King

What a Ride!

My friend, Jen and I were talking the other day about where we were in our lives a year ago.  She was commenting on how much she has changed as a rider in just one year, remembering her training for her first century:  how she didn't eat properly and had never gone more than 30, then 40, then 60 miles before on a bike.  And now she's done TWO centuries (one with serious elevation), has interest in mountain biking, and has joined the VeloGirls to expand her repertoire of skills.  Go Jen!  Wow!  I had been thinking about my riding in the last year, too.

A little over a year ago, my husband said, "Hey, Trek is having a contest.  You should enter!"  I read the details and decided that it would be interesting to at least dust off my brain and write about why I rode my bike.  I never would have imagined how much that one essay would impact my life!

I thought I rode a lot a year ago.  I thought I was content with my "relaxed" (aka: slow) riding, enjoying the scenery and exercise.  I thought racers were crazy people.  I thought I wasn't a competitive person.  And I thought I had no desire to go anywhere different on my bike.

But then I wrote that essay.  And I waited to hear if I would be picked.  I didn't think I would be, but I secretly hoped.  And before I knew it, I was making arrangements for the kids to be left over a series of days with Chris and two (very wonderful) friends so I could go to Trek Headquarters and become an official Woman Who Rides.  And it's all been (biking) downhill from there!   

A year is simultaneously long and short.  In this year, I've done a couple of centuries, done my first road and mountain bike races, met and hung out with some truly incredible people, and completely changed how I view myself as a cyclist.  I've taken my role as a Woman Who Rides seriously, and I truly hope that people have seen that you don't have to be perfect or even good on a bike to enjoy it and where it takes you.  Yes, I have had the advantage of the incredible support of Trek (I am a very lucky girl!) and my fellow Women Who Ride.   But Trek started the bike rolling with opportunities.  It was the bike that continued it:  My new Madone and Fuel EX led me to the guys at Trek Store of San Jose and more rides with Lorri and the Velogirls...which led me to consider racing...which led me to do bike skills classes...which led me to my fabulous teammates... all which led me to the bike community I've been searching for for a long time.    

Tomorrow I go to do the Trek Dirt Series mountain bike camp.  I'm incredibly nervous and doubting my ability to learn to ride cool things like wheelie drops and how to ride skinny teeter-totters.  Today, my friend Constance taught her first Boot Camp class at the YMCA.  She did a great job!  I saw her afterward and she was so excited.  She said, "It was completely outside my comfort zone.  But if I don't do something new, I don't grow, so I have to do this for myself."  Perfect.  That is exactly how I could sum up this year.   

Comments on this post

awesome, amy!!! you look great and it sounds like you've gained a tremendous amount of confidence as well! Way to go!!!

Amy, I will be one of your camp followers, keep riding! Good for you - the Dirt series - wish I could get away to join one of them!

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