By Shannon Henery, Co-Founder and 1st Year Racer
The main reason I love cycling… I love the shift in perspective that comes with pushing beyond my limits. For example, when I cover more mileage under my own power than I ever had before, suddenly mileage that had previously seemed significant becomes no big deal.
After riding my first dual century in one day at the Seattle to Portland ride many years ago, riding 100 miles seemed like an easy little ride. The same applies to climbing major passes, riding routes with massive amounts of elevation gain, and riding in bad weather.
The more mountain passes I climb on the bike, the more the hilly terrain seems to flatten out becoming as easy as flat land in my mind. The shift in perspective even translates over to life off of the bike.
On Monday morning, nothing my job can throw my way seems that difficult if I have just ridden hundreds of miles over the weekend!
During stressful times in graduate school there were mornings I would even head out early to get a quick 80 mile ride in before heading to the lab. Nothing could stress me out on a day that had started with 80 miles of climbing the mountain passes.
Of course the health benefits of cycling are certainly a bonus, and even a shift in perspective is gained in that realm. My idea of “out of shape” is likely quite different than that of the average couch potato since I feel out of shape if I’m not routinely riding 100+ mile rides.
The beauty of changing perspective through cycling is that anyone can do it simply by starting with short rides, gradually increasing the mileage in a way that makes the increase barely noticeable. The moment something like “it was just a little 50 miler” is uttered by you, you will know you have successfully shifted your perspective (and probably your health)!
1st Year Racer