Gravel (U)pdate

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”-

Mountains?!? Who said anything about mountains? Especially here in good ole’ flat Nebraska.

Is having to explain what you love to others tearing away the fabric of your happiness – your being, like enjoying a leisurely 150+ gravel bike ride around Lincoln, Nebraska? Or a quaint 100k Trail Run through Breckenridge, Colorado? Or even meditating and walking?

Often we are asked to explain the reasoning for our choices, let’s be fully open with one another this morning shall we: It’s easier to blog and talk about our decisions at a logical and snarky level, “Why do you like cycling on Gravel Roads?” I enjoy being outdoors in a non competitive environment, enjoying the company of other folks that are there for very similar reasons…

There’s a catch to throwing out the “easy – polished” answer. Doing so, over and over every time we meet like-minded folks erodes our ability to formulate a decision based on “emotion” or a “gut feeling.” These emotions are rather hard to put into words and to explain to someone looking at you in the eye, wondering why you look like a damn mess, covered head to toe with dirt, sweat, snot dripping out your nose and a ridiculously shaped tan line (cyclists know what these look like).

“I like ultra distance gravel rides because they connect and ground me to the earth, they make me feel whole. They allow me to tune into myself, listening attentively, no distractions, just myself – on my single speed bike, chugging along.”

Enjoy the pics folks as this ride was one of only a few where I carry a phone, let alone a camera thing!

Notes:

One of the main undercurrents that keeps this CultFit machine moving along is that we often ruin our enjoyment of the simple pleasures in our lives due to the fact we try to rationalize, at every turn, why we like doing what we do or we want to prove to ourselves why our decisions are correct and superior to others.

The only “thing” that matter folks? Is that we like “whatever” because we like it, period.

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21 Comments on “Gravel (U)pdate”

  1. That looks like my kind of bike riding! Except for the 150+ miles. I’m still a newbie on my bike so I’d only probably last 20 miles or so. Looks like you had a wonderful day.

    • CultFit says:

      The first twenty miles of the ride yesterday were the best. Heading out before dawn, riding east and watching the sun rise and a nearby storm passing through. It was from mile 75 on where things got interesting, high winds from the south, blazing hot 90 degree plus heat, the humidity, the never ending hills like the teeth of saw blade. In the end, sitting down and having dinner with my wife was the best part of the, she still thinks I was nuts for doing this! I hope you had a great weekend, take care this evening. 🙂

  2. Sandra says:

    Glad you had a grand time! What a freaking hot day! And the winds gusting at nearly 20 had to give you fits, too!
    Congrats!

    • CultFit says:

      I was prepared for almost everything except the driving winds from the south. Riding single speed with a fairly tall gear was going as planned until the wind starts pounding you in the chest and it feels as though you are not even moving, I was walking at times faster than pedaling. The best part(s)? The event organizers, fellow riders, the amazing and kind folks in the communities around Lincoln, NE. Every car that passed or approached slowed down and waved hello, the people out in the middle of nowhere who offered a cold beer or to fill water bottles. Never have I been on a ride this much fun!
      I’ll be back down in the fall to do some more exploring, I ride now almost to Waverly from Omaha … Time to explore the things I missed with my head down, riding into the wind. 😉
      Be well this evening!

      • Sandra says:

        Wow, sounds rough! Glad people treated you well and that you had fun!

        I am going to do the trek breast cancer awareness ride in Omaha in October. 25 miles on the Keystone. Maybe I can stop by afterwards and say hello?

        • CultFit says:

          You bet! I believe we have a few riders in the Bellevue Bicycle Club who are going to be out for this ride as well. There are plenty of spots along the Keystone to sit back, relax and catch up after a nice ride. Just be sure to remind me as the date approaches. 🙂

  3. Amen. And I need no explanation. You said “I went on a 150 mile bike ride” and I smile with jealous love and appreciation. 😉

    • CultFit says:

      Are you in for next year?!? It was a blast and so much fun, the first 50 miles were rather spirited given the weather conditions at the time were so nice. After that it turned into a day long cycling journey, meeting new people out on the road and creating life long memories. 🙂

  4. I’m saying ‘yes’ to all that.

  5. flamidwyfe says:

    “The only “thing” that matter folks? Is that we like “whatever” because we like it, period.”
    Going to post this on my Facebook wall with a link to your blog… what a PERFECT concept 🙂

    • CultFit says:

      I had the pleasure to ride with a young 62 year old dude for a good portion of the day and we had a rather nice discussion about this topic. We often spend a lot of time defending or explaining what we do to others that it erodes our true passion inside, we get defensive and hesitant to open up more. You can learn a lot riding bikes in the sticks of Nebraska. 😉
      What I shared with you in the post is just a conversation starter, one I feel is pretty darn important in today’s world. Thank you so much for sharing, much appreciated!

  6. katelon says:

    Thanks for the pictures! No need to defend any of your choices!

  7. velominata says:

    Wow. The roads are so straight. And flat. Did you have opportunity to change gears? 🙂
    All cycling scenery is beautiful!

    • CultFit says:

      Having a few days now to look back over the ride, I would had gladly changed the front 44t chain ring to a more leisurely 40t and I’ll fully admit … The wind was brutal with the setup I was riding. Still had a blast and I plan on riding again next year. 🙂 There is a seductive quality to the gravel roads and weather around here, they lure you into a comfortable pace, enjoying your surroundings and company. Then, a change in direction with the addition of a few rolling hills like the teeth of a saw blade? I’ll be back at this weekend! Thank you for stopping over, take care today and be well!


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