For those of our more loyal RAM Cycling followers that have been wondering what has happened to the content going stale on our site, or where has masher been, hopefully this message will answer your curiosity. First, in regards to why Masher has been missing in action, well it’s actually a combination of reasons that can be explained by priority change and a little bit of fear.
Cycling will always be a passion, a priority of mine. Sometimes priorities change though, and that’s exactly what has happened this year. The major priorities in my life are family, friends, religion, work, and hobbies. The last two years have demonstrated that my cycling hobby was near the top of that list, but this year it is a little further down the list and it’s also sharing time with fishing and soon to be boating, as we just bought our first family runabout. Our oldest son just graduated from high school last week, and back in the fall during his final football season, it dawned on me that this spring would also be his final baseball season, and I just wanted to be there a little more than I have in the past. It was my choice to be there for him and it felt good to be.
I’ve also noticed that my work seems to be a little higher up the list this year also, not by design but hey, that’s life. Gotta make money to be able to spend it. So I’m perfectly fine and comfortable with my level of commitment to my cycling passion for now, and I’m sure it will continue to evolve as priorities are constantly changing. I am slowly trying to regain some of the fitness that I’ve lost during my recent temporary status, so if you wanna see the masher suffer a little (and I guess I have it coming since I’ve taken pleasure in dishing it out some in the past), come on out and ride with me now!
The other factor that’s kept me from consistent riding this year, the one that only a couple folks know about for now, is fear. Yes, I’m no longer afraid to admit it … I’ve been scared at times to ride on the road. On our last night of vacation back on spring break in Florida, we were on our way down to the beach to grab supper when we drove up on an accident scene. The area was on the other side of the 4-lane Beach Blvd ( the same road I had ridden my bicycle on all of my rides that week) and multiple emergency vehicles were blocking the west bound lanes with caution tape all around the area. As we passed the spot of the accident, all I saw was a mangled bicycle laying in the road and I immediately got sick to my stomach. That image is imbedded into my mind now and I’ve used it as an excuse to myself not to ride on multiple occasions. Now with the more recent, more close to home death of a cyclist in the Horsey Hundred on the same roads I ride all the time, I gave serious thought for a few days to give it up. I honestly did not want to ride my bike on the road again, in fear that my family could easily lose their husband, father, brother, and son on my next ride.
Luckily, I found the courage to admit my fear to a few people very close to me, and now I am getting through it, and excited to be back on the road! No doubt, the risks are still on my mind, but the advice I was given is worth sharing … we are not in control, don’t give up on something I love, let go and let God. And it’s all true. Yes there will always be risk of death when I climb aboard my bicycle and get on the road with vehicles, but that same risk is very real in many other aspects of our day to day activities also. And yes, even though we think we can shield ourselves from danger, the truth is accidents happen anywhere anytime, and we’re ultimately not in control. We do not choose when we go or how, but I agree with my friend Tim (the Renaissance Man), when God calls us, we go. So I’m happy to let that thought outweigh the negative, scared thoughts as I continue to ride my bike.
I did not share this fear in hopes of pushing God on anyone, it just happens to be my belief. I did share this with you, in hopes that if any of our followers have had similar experiences of fear of riding, to let you know it’s okay and it helps you to overcome it by talking about it and sharing your fear with the ones that are closest to you.
In closing, I hope we all see more updated content here at RAM Cycling now that I plan to be riding much more regularly, and I look forward to getting out on a group ride soon with all of my closest friends! I’ll try harder to do my part on both accounts.
In my own words, I hope that when God calls me home, I’m doing something I love, rather than avoiding it due to fear ….
Here it is the first part of March and the official Cycling Season is underway. AS I did last year, I completed the 2015 Tour of Sufferlandria during the “off-season” in preparation for 2015. I also made some other changes including a normal swimming routine and the addition of a power meter to my bike. All of these in hopes that 2015 brings a great cycling season and big improvement to my overall fitness. Another big off-season accomplishment is no winter weight gain!! I am hopeful that I will see 215 lbs. on the scale this year.
My Goals this year are as follows:
This is my tentative schedule and I hope that there are many other rides where the open road takes all of RAM Cycling and its followers. 2014 was a great year, but I am sure 2015 promises much more fun, excitement, challenges and personal bests.
Here’s a list of various rides and events I plan to participate in this year. Renaissance Man has already kicked his season off with an indoor challenge by joining the week long “Tour of Sufferlandria.” I certainly hope we get warm, mild spring weather earlier than last year because the indoor training (while necessary) just isn’t as fun. I hope and plan to continue my streak by completing all four Kentucky Century Challenge rides for the third consecutive year. As I roll out my calendar of events, please let me know if you have any interest in joining me on any of these cycling events.
1.) BCC Season Kick-off Ride
2.) Solo Secret Training Ride
1.) Redbud Ride
1.) TOSRV (Tour of Scioto River Valley)
2.) Horsey Hundred
* I know some friends plan to attend AOMM (Assault on Mt Mitchell)
1.) Cherohala Challenge
2.) Preservation Pedal
1.) RAM Cycling 4th of July social ride
2.) gRAM Fondo Lou to Lex (Churchill to Keeneland)
1.) MECCA (Masher’s Endurance Cycling Challenge Adventure)
2.) Mountains of Pain
1.) Hub City Tour
1.) Red River Rally
2.) RAM Cycling Oktoberfest
3.) Secret Group Ride
Again, please don’t hesitate to contact me (masher) if you’re interested in joining me on any event this year. Post comments here or contact me directly! Also, please let me know if you have a suggestion for a ride that you don’t see listed here and I’ll check my schedule and give it consideration. Cheers to 2015 … Let’s roll!