I grew up cycling – I remember riding around “the stones” just outside our back yard in Cornwall, England as a kid; I remember churning up the singletrack in the nearby woods; I had a blast downhill biking in Switzerland when I was 19. Somehow, in the time since then I fell out of the habit. My activities weren’t helped by one incident a few years ago when an ex-girlfriend accidentally dropped my bike off the back of her car on the highway – as you can imagine that wasn’t too good for the bike. Once the bike was damaged in that accident, I just never got back into cycling.
I always thought of myself as being athletic – I played all sorts of sports in school, and I ran marathons at a decent pace when I moved to Toronto in the early 2000s. However, over the last few years I let it get away from me – a high-stress job, lots of work travel and a busy lifestyle meant I put on about 35 pounds and let my fitness lapse.
A couple of years ago I bought an exercise bike in an attempt to get myself back in shape. I could never find the motivation to go to the gym, but putting a bike in the room next to our bedroom meant I had no excuse for avoiding it. I used it on and off for a while but then let it lapse again too.
In February 2015 I flew home to England for a family emergency. While I was there, I spent some time with my cycling-obsessed parents. We went out on several rides together; my addiction was reborn. Once I returned to Canada I set an exercise routine and stuck to it – morning workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and at least one long ride at weekends. My weight stabilized and began to slowly drop.
Meanwhile, I searched for a real bike that would meet my needs – something that would meet my needs and let me get out on Toronto’s roads for long rides, but would also let me get off-road on gentle trails. I settled on a Cannondale CAADX 105, and absolutely loved it – it gave me the variety I needed to stay interested, and gave me a new challenge – improving myself, which is the thing that motivates me the most.
Fast forward a few months, and my dad came over to visit. A focal point of the visit was a week-long cycling tour that we organized of southern Ontario, camping at a different provincial park every night. I kept a diary while we were on the trip and got to thinking – why keep these thoughts to myself? A new blog was born.
I don’t really know what I’ll write about on an ongoing basis here. Likely a combination of ride reviews (when the Canadian seasons cooperate) and general musings on cycling, exercise and other things that catch my fancy. We’ll see.