on my way to the office this morning my thoughts were on "why i ride?". weight issues, health concerns, stress alleviation, sight seeing, making new friends, cementing old friendships, help good causes, make the earth a little better(greener), want to be like lance, want to be like chris eatough, travel, learn more about yourself, while all these are good causes, those aren't really the reasons that motivate me... here is the story of what got me 100% hooked and addicted to cycling..
3 years ago a good friend of mine, wellen mercado was in contention for the state championship, the last race was in louisiana and so that he didn't travel alone i decided to make the trip with him. my bike came along, but the intention was not to race, simply ride the course. well, to hell with it, race day came and i decided to race, my legs felt good, and i had been training. once on the line there was this lanky cocky dude going around trying to intimidate people by saying stuff like "im going to drop you" or "you won't be a problem" irritating stuff like that, he pointed at me and just giggled. well anyone who knows me knows that was enough to light the flame. it was on. the gun shot off and we were off, i started in 4th, moved to 3rd, then 2nd started to make a gap so i passed and got right on his wheel. he kept looking back and accelerating, but i was right on his wheel enjoying his draft with my heartrate in the mid 180's. about 4 miles into the race, we get to this long gradual climb and he stands up and starts going harder. he got up at least 3 times and on the last one, i saw the jello in his legs, as soon as he sat down i launched the hardest attack i was capable of back then, never looked back, just went as hard as i could. the rest of the race was spent with tunnel vision, all the blood was pumping to my legs, my arms were numb, toes numb, my heart rate in the 190's. once i crossed the finish line i collapsed off the bike.. i had really hurt my body, there was no better feeling. and i put over a minute on that guy. he crossed looking pale as could be, and never looked at me. he had a big ole crow in his mouth! it amazes me what we can do to ourselves in realization of new limits. that was my first TMBRA race... i was hooked, beyond hooked.. addicted! now we are not always in that kind of fitness, BUT, the day will come when that will get relived and the promise of that day is what keeps me on the bike and in love! a sick and twisted sense of realizing new limits, inflicting pain on others, and beating everyone in your field! there it is.. simple!