64 miles and becoming a beginner again
I remember being a beginning cyclist like it was yesterday. Because, despite probably 100,000 miles of experience, it actually was yesterday. I raced on gravel for the first time at the Standard Deluxe Dirt Road Century (metric) in Waverly, Ala.
It was 64 miles mostly on dirt roads spun like a red-clay web through fields and forests I’d never seen. But I did recognize the old doubts and uncertainty from my first road rides. And fear, on loose descents where a leaf turns out to be a rock.
The friends I ride with comfortably on the road gapped me, and I struggled to hang on. I’m not a mountain biker, so seeing and feeling the ground literally move beneath my wheels created a new dimension.
And it’s a good one. It’s like anything else: a new challenge expands your view of what’s possible and where you should reset your goals.