While it is far from the ‘Tour De France’, in Clarksville, Tennessee cycling is a growing sport and hobby. For years now I have had friends who have encouraged me to get into cycling. It was only recently that I decided that I needed to get back into exercising.
When I retired from the Army two years ago the VA Doctor told me that my days of running were behind me. This was disturbing to me as I always enjoyed running and it was something that I was rather good at, but years of pounding the pavement and trails, along with ruck marches, and the art of jumping out of perfectly good aircraft for no particular reason had taken its toll.
Perhaps it was my turning the big FOUR ‘O’ that pushed me back to the gym, and taking a fresh look at cycling, or it could have been my giving up a bad tobacco habit (yet again) that was making me a tad restless. I suppose I will never know. I broke down and bought me one of those Road Bikes that many of my friends have along with the bright and flashy jersey, spandex shorts, and the whole NINE YARDS. I must admit I was kind of excited to start in this hobby, although it was just as expensive as many of the other hobbies that we get into, the difference I suppose is that this is ‘good for you’.
We won’t get into the high cost of entry into this sport/hobby was other than to say that I am starting at ENTRY LEVEL which those familiar will know is still a sizable amount of money – but again it is worth it right? After all, didn’t everyone of my friends who cycle here in Clarksville frequently tell me just how INCREDIBLE it feels after taking a short ride of 10 – 15 miles, and that unlike running they can go out and ride EVERY DAY. Oh yeah, that is what I need, I need to FEEL INCREDIBLE in my old age.
I bought the bike and all associated items needed to get started this past week, but did not get the bike fitted until yesterday evening. I must say I was anxiously awaiting my initial Clarksville Tennessee cycling experience. I plotted my route using www.mapmyride.com on Thursday. After talking to a few different cyclist of varying experience I decided a 13 mile trek was appropriate for my first ride through the Clarksville and Sango.
This morning, without fail, I jumped out of bed just after sun-up, dressed in full ‘cycling’ regalia to include gloves, sunglasses, reflective belt and helmet and set out on my journey! My biggest fear was that the shoes have to be snapped into the pedals. I had heard enough horror stories about simply falling over from a cyclist’s inability to get their shoe out of the pedal in time, this was not a problem for me, I was an INSTANT PRO.
SO OFF INTO THE VAST UNKNOWN I WENT. Um, folks, friends, BUDDIES, you forgot to tell me about the hills and the fact that no matter how much I down shifted it simply did not make the incline go away. Also, you forgot to mention that the searing pain in my thighs (not to mention my buttocks) would feel like somebody slapped me with a 2×6! It was all I could do to make it, but make it I did.
Now ‘friends’, ‘buddies’, ‘PALS’, let’s talk about this INCREDIBLE FEELING that you all described. I would certainly like to know your definition of incredible. I guess you could call what I am feeling as incredible – INCREDIBLE FATIGUE! Not to mention the discomfort when I sit!
Okay, enough whining on my part. To be honest with you folks, my feeling beat down is because I did not ‘take it easy’ as I simply don’t know the meaning of such. I pushed myself as hard as I could (dumb I know) and kept a steady pace for as long as I could. The key, besides not hurting myself is to stick with it which I intend to do. I am not looking to compete with Lance Armstrong, but I would certainly like to be able to stick with the pack and join some of those in the Clarksville Tennessee cycling club on some of their rides once I build up some endurance and stamina.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about cycling or who are moving to Clarksville Tennessee and are looking for information on cycling in Clarksville Tennessee, below are some links for you. There are some wonderful routes in Clarksville and on Fort Campbell to enjoy. From the novice to the downright ‘make me scream for momma!’ routes I believe there are enough to challenge all. And who knows, maybe we will pass each other on a ride some day soon.
Clarksville Area Bike Shops:
Editor’s Note: This was initially submitted on August 2nd, keep that in mind when reading dates.