Endust and Pledge

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Well, I’m back from Youngstown… Man, I have some stories for you about that place. I just cannot make this stuff up… Let me just say that going to places like that makes you appreciate what you have out here… We take a lot — A LOT — for granted. It’s just a different way of life… I liked Youngstown, though — it’s a nice change of pace. No one’s in a rush. Things just churn at a slower cadence. Youngstown, OH is much different than these suburbs, but it’s a nice different.

I finally took the bike out. I have 5 bikes hanging on the wall. Eeeny meeny miny… hey Moe! I chose the Madone, the safest choice. I hadn’t been out for AWHILE. In July, I took a job teaching tennis part-time at a tennis club, and I just took a break from the bike — virtually zero riding. Pretty much violated every rule in my training diet. Stayed up later. Hung out with the friends more.

You’d be amazed how much time opens up in your schedule when the bikes stay on the wall! It’s truly amazing!

However, since July, I’ve remained active. At first I got fat, ballooning almost to 180 pounds, but I continued to play tennis every day, then really got into running to stay fit. Well, I have naturally morphed back to 166 pounds (still 12 pounds over bike weight, but I was SKINNY!) and am eating healthy… I remember when I was riding, I’d think, [I]Man, I want to have that ice cream with dinner,[I] but I never would. I was disciplined with the diet, but I always felt hungry. Well, now that I took off all summer and enjoyable all that crap and never let myself get hungry, I naturally reverted back to my old eating habits: healthy breakfast, all whole, live foods, no refined sugar. Lotsa tiny snacks, water all day long…

When I got back on the Madone and commuted to the club (Commuting Article on its way!), I was surprised that I didn’t feel so SLOW. Don’t get me wrong: I am Fat Ken, but I didn’t feel as bad as originally feared. I made it up the climbs no problem. I could feel the extra weight, the weaker legs, but the ride was manageable no problem. I think this is a testament to diet and cross-training: if you take care of your body, you can come back relatively quickly…

Man, it was just nice to get out there again, suck in that cold air… Getting near the top of the climb, put some more power down, get that bloom of sweat going, attain that level of satisfaction once you’re over the top… I remember in May, I was riding my TT bike late at night, and it started to rain. I started to really rip along, and at night 30 mph feels like 40 mph… I remember flying next to this curb alongside railroad tracks, these tall overgrown weeds leaning into the road, and I can remember the weeds caressing the side of my body as I just gunned it, almost numb from the water, numb from pain… Bizarrely, that night was one of this year’s best memories…

Riding the bike yesterday — and this is getting old to hear! — reminded me of why I ride. There is just something about pedaling that bicycle…

In my BioFile, this was my answer to WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT RIDING: “Someone once told me that when you drive, you see the world too quickly. And when you walk, you don’t see enough. But when you see the world by bicycle, it’s the way it should be seen. Nothing quite like doing a long ride over old country roads with good friends, the bike purring perfectly, the body feeling great, everything in tune: the weather, the form, the camaraderie; not a better way to spend any day of your life.”

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Friday, November 14th, 2008 | | |