“Wheel, kindly light, along life’s cycle path, wheel thou on me! The road is round, I have discerned thy wrath, But wheel me on!” –-Christian hymn
One of the journey’s most rewarding and fulfilling aspects is that each day comes with new promise, unique experiences, and adventures around the corner. That is the expectation.
It’s exciting to know that something you’ve never seen before or an opportunity for learning and growth is potentially a pedal stroke away. It is a profound presumption, but not the only one.
First and foremost, it has to be fun. That is the primary expectation, which applies to all involved, me and those sharing in the adventure. The belief fills each new day but doesn’t always work out that way.
There was hope as I rode through Wisner, NE’s quaint Main Street, to be greeted by clear air and a brilliant sunrise. That’s when I first indicated that this new day wouldn’t check the top box on the list.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike riding in the wind? Yes, ad neaseam, I know, but as a climber banished to the flatlands of windswept Long Island, this sinister element holds a special place. I told myself I wouldn’t repeat it, but I had A LOT of time to think about it.
Riding into the wind is not fun for me! Worse, it is a diabolical form of misery, and it seeps from the painful grimace on my face to become a contagion that affects those around me who care to know, and they know!
I’m quick to say that the Schwenk Tank crew is working harder than I am. Not only do they have to keep the show on the road. They also have me to deal with, and that’s backbreaking work.
Kristin brought out the heavy artillery to lift my mood and power me through. Unfortunately, no amount of coffee and confections would suppress the gusts or make me better at riding through them.
She was outgunned! The gusts were so intense at times that I weaved like a drunkin’ paperboy pushing the pedals as hard as I could and barely going anywhere. I did a little experiment on a 5% downhill grade and timed how long it took to slow to a stop.
It was five seconds! I was going down, and if I didn’t pedal hard, I was really going down. It wasn’t fun. But…
Is that what makes cyclists who they are? Finding enjoyment in the satisfaction of doing something others wouldn’t or couldn’t, and somehow finding pleasure in it?
Well, maybe? In my case, I had to look at the big picture. The joy and expectation are in fulfilling a lifelong cycling dream with my loved ones at my side. I intend to pay up on my end of the bargain.
A smile came to my face when I rolled into Fremont, NE, and the refuge of the tree-lined streets. Someone in Nebraska cares about bikes, and they put in a bike lane to prove it. Thank you!
It was a hard day. I must admit, it was fun in its own way! I can only handle so much fun in one day.
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Thirty-Two—Drake Watts
Here is what Drake had to say—”Overwhelmed by the offer of support so in appreciation I’ve shown my support in return.”
Amount Raised to Date—$7,298
Thank you, Drake!
Now off to Omaha, NE!
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!