I live in Charlotte Co. Florida and bike riding has become a way of life. A good day is a 50 mile ride with some good friends. We have a 12 month riding season. We’re flatlanders. Our hills are bridges and over passes so we don’t get much recovery rolling down a hill. A 3 hour bike ride is 3 hours on the pedals. Then there’s the wind. In the fall and winter 20mph gust from all 4 directions at the same time is common. Is that even possible? I could be wrong about the multiple simultaneous wind direction thing, but you ask anybody who rides here, they’ll tell ya.
I grew up in Lancaster PA. where a bike ride is rolling hills all day. The driveway at my house was a serious climb at the end of a long ride. I ran for about 10 years only to be side lined by chronic hamstring and groin pulls. The bike was recommended by friends. I bought my first road bike in 1989. I rode it for awhile but work and life took over and the riding and fitness suffered. In 2008 I had a complete physical. My cholesterol and blood pressure were borderline. The Dr prescribed a statin drug. Realizing the drug was going to be a life sentence and the side effects were not at all appealing, my wife vetoed the meds and prescribed a better diet and back to the fitness. 3 years later my numbers have improved and I’m 20 lbs lighter. I would like to say it’s the cycling but it’s the diet as well. When I quit working the everyday doughnut buffet ended.
In 2008 I was invited to ride the Saturday morning ride out of the Acme Bike Shop in Punta Gorda Florida. What an eye opener. I couldn’t even hang on the back for 5 miles, let alone complete a 30 mile ride,disappointed but determined. After a lot of miles and a lot of hard work I became part of the peleton. After 3 years I find myself completing a metric century with > 18mph average speed. I’m not sure I’m gonna get much stronger so it’s time to upgrade the bike. Life is great and I’m having a good time. Stay tuned.