For our final assignment, team Blog Squad decided to go back to the collection of questions we used for our most recent round of posts. No assignments this time—we decided to pick our favorite and roll with it.
The question I picked was originally posed by Hailey to Liz,: “If you could only do one sport (from tri) for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why? Then provide some of your fave moments/routes of this sport or bucket list things you would like to do with this sport.”
Given the fact that I’ve put off writing this post due to a four-day cycling trip to California makes the answer obvious. I probably fell in love with cycling a long time ago, but it wasn’t until moving to California and learning to wear proper kits/getting dropped/being mocked for calling it “biking” that I really began to identify as a rider of bikes.
(Cycling, in a sense, is part of the answer to many of the other questions, too. “When did you first start thinking of yourself as an athlete?” That probably occurred in the saddle. And, “What would I do with 30 days of endless funds?” Most definitely fly somewhere rad and ride bikes.)
My why: As much as I’ve grown to love swimming, and most of the time can talk myself into loving running, nothing makes me come alive like throwing my leg over a bicycle. Cycling has introduced me to some of my favorite people and scribbled many memories across my heart. I love how weightless I feel when I’m riding (if not literally then figuratively!). I love how bikes look and feel and function. I love watching the commuters on the Adanac bike path in Vancouver with their blinky lights and panniers as much as I love watching the pros crush climbs and bomb down descents.
As my coach said in a post-camp email to all of us: “Sport is an incredible avenue to learn more about ourselves, our character, our ego, and our character. Sport can pump you, break you, humble you, challenge you, and test you..” Can I get an amen? When it comes to Ironman, the bike leg is where I feel fast, alive. It’s where the race transforms from fighting hard and digging deep. Where it transforms from struggle to flow.
Favorite moments: My first road bike purchase back in 2008. My first century ride. My first Ironman. Two coast rides. Winning a time trial. My first fastest female bike split in an Ironman (Los Cabos). My first road race. Getting lost. Bonking. Eating pie in the middle of a long ride in Julian. Getting my mom into road cycling. Finally understanding why people love mountain biking so much (just this past summer).
Favorite routes: The stretch between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur. The Henshaw loop. The Julian loop. The sunny, open highway stretch from Carlsbad to Del Mar, dotted with coffee stops. The Whistler Ironman course. The Copenhagen Ironman course. The winery route from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara. Mt. Baker. The Sunshine Coast of B.C. Anywhere that starts with good coffee and leads me home.
What I’d like to do with this sport: Ride in Europe. Ride across Canada. Ride in South America. Learn to mountain bike. Do a cyclocross race. Get faster. Get old and keep doing it.
As per usual, visit Hailey—unsurprising we both picked the bike!—Christine, Laurel, Erin, Liz, Elizabeth, and Caitlin for their last posts in our little series (some of whom have answered the last question, some who haven’t!). We hope you’ve enjoyed reading along with us.