Posted by: emilybybike | September 8, 2010

More than the bike

Well, I initially wanted to title this post “It’s not about the bike” but couldn’t bring myself to a Lance cliché. However, this summer of riding as taught me that being part of the greater cycling community, and going by bike isn’t about the bike at all, it’s something bigger, something encompassing and something pretty darn cool.

And after a summer of riding, racing and commuting, the area cycling community seems to come together in one big, final event, where whether you’re racing or volunteering, it’s epic. Epic epic. It’s the Shenandoah 100.

It brings in everyone, the professionals, the amateurs, the roadies, everyone. Everyone looking to be part of something bigger than just a bike race. It’s a community, it’s a spirit of adventure, a challenge, it’s something I fell in love with after just my first time last year. And this year, was no different. Sure I was nervous, sure I had a last-minute mechanical and issues, but I got over it. I rode for the joy of riding, the challenge of pushing myself, the fun of meeting new people along the way who share my passion, and the incredibly support and enthusiasm from the volunteers – people not racing, but giving up their Labor Day Sunday to help you accomplish something incredible.

For me, it’s like the Superbowl, what I’ve worked for all year, something I’d think about while commuting, think about while training, think about while racing. I’d talk about it with friends, plan, laugh and when the dust finally settled on Sunday, it was what we talked about over beers. And I’m guessing the Shenandoah isn’t the only event out there, that is centered around bikes, but is more than just about bikes. The fun part is finding them, and finding the friends and support to get you through.

I had that this year, and am ever grateful for the teammates, friends, and strangers who rode with me, helped me and supported me along the way. Cheers to you all, and already looking forward to 2011.

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