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Cycling Limitations

Ah, sunset in the Fall…

One of the things cycling has taught me is that I can do more than I thought. A lot more, in fact.

This was brought home again this week, when I did a 25-miler with a buddy who’s a very strong rider (and ex-mountain bike racer). We rode around a local reservoir that was breathtakingly beautiful, as you’ll see from the pictures. It was a perfect fall day for riding, and the sunset was glorious.

It was also hard. Like, really, really hard. I wasn’t asking my friend to slow down too much, and there were plenty of long climbs. I’m used to climbs in my neck of the woods, but not ones this long.

So I was hurting during many places on this ride. But you know what? I got through the hurt, and didn’t slow my friend down very much. I put out more watts than I thought I had in me over that distance. It felt exhausting, but also great.

Yes, I was behind most of the time. This guy can ride!

This has happened to me numerous times over the past several years, including twice in the past month (I’ll write about that later this week). I pushed myself beyond what I thought my limits were, and found that they were more limits in my mind than in my legs and heart.

This is a good place to be when you’re getting into something, whether it’s cycling, running, hiking, canoeing… whatever the physical effort is. It happens when you force yourself to see what you can do. If you do that, you’re likely to find out that you can do more than you thought.

Pros undoubtedly find this out earlier, and are used to knowing their absolute limits on what they can do. The rest of us usually take longer.

Does this really need a caption?

Can’t wait to test myself again. And pass—or fail—the test. We learn from both.

But it’s a lot more fun to learn from the successes.

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  1. Pingback: My Seagull Century Experience - The Diabetic Cyclist

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