For One Whole Year

It's hard to believe, but this blog is 1 year old. 1 whole year of documenting my journey from a guy who used to occasionally ride his bike maybe once or twice a month to a guy who rides almost every day. Well, almost every day...

A year ago, after a summer of eating healthy and losing about 30 pounds, I wanted to accentuate that diet with exercise. I had been walking along the Rails-to-Trails with a friend about once a week and racking up plenty of miles, but walking just wasn't holding my interest. I wanted to go faster, and farther. So, I pulled my bike out of storage and started doing about 10 miles a day.

Before long, I was adding a few more miles a day, but never venturing too far out of the neighborhood. I decided to challenge myself, to see just how far I could go. I felt the way most runners and joggers do after they start really developing a habit and improving themselves. I wanted to enter a race, or at least an organized ride. I felt like it was something I had to do.

The first thing I did was to hit Google and look for events that were happening close by. One of the first events I stumbled on was the Flaming Foliage Festival that was taking place right here, in Hazleton. I had never even heard of this event before, and here it was in my own back yard. It seemed like fate. So, I set a goal to get myself in shape for the event with the goal of being able to ride 50k -- about 31 miles.

I began by learning as much as I could about sports nutrition and plotting longer and longer courses for myself. I'd ride about 2 or 3 times a week, setting a new goal each time went out. I hit a few snags and learned a few painful lessons, but I eventually made my goal. I rode the half metric century course in the Flaming Foliage Festival in October and had a great time. I even met a few new friends. All in all, it was a huge success. As I look back now, has it really been a year? Time really does fly when you're having fun.

My life has changed in a variety of ways since those days. I started a new job, bought the bike of my dreams, kept the weight off and even met several other goals. I even managed to bike all the way to Pittsburgh! I mean, that was just a crazy idea I almost never meant to keep until it occurred to me -- only a few weeks prior -- that I could really, actually do it. And now I'm looking at the achievement from the other end and wondering how I did it; I still can't believe it.

1 year of biking and blogging. How far will I go over the next year?


Dean Rowntree said...

I've only been reading your blog for a few months and I really enjoy it. It inspires me to get out and ride AND to blog about it. How many miles do you think you have covered in one year?

Dale Culp said...

Thanks, Dean. I'm glad to hear that! From the beginning, I started this blog hoping to meet a lot of other cyclists in the area to develop kind of a support network, where each person encourages the others to keep riding and look out for each other. Mostly, it's just nice to know that there are more of us out there, especially when it seems like you're the only one on the road.

Every now and then I realize how much my life has changed, and I can hardly believe so much time has gone by, or that I continue to look forward to every chance to ride. You'd think I'd be bored of it, but I'm more enthusiastic than ever.

According to Strava, I've logged at least 2,283 miles. I'm hoping to hit 3000 before the season is over! Just keep riding...

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