There are less than 90 days left until the click of shoes locking into pedals reverberates around the streets of early morning Peterborough. Yes, the 5th Ride for Africycle is getting closer and closer. I am really excited (really!) and I wanted to share with you what I’m doing to get my body ready for this beautiful and challenging ride.
Just to give a little context here, I’m a 53 year old plus guy who works full time for a living. I love to bike and usually do so on my own. I like to ride with people but the alone times are very special, verging on the sacred. It’s a good space for me to come to grips with the stuff of life.
I commute to and from where I teach each day. This only amounts to eighteen to twenty km a day but given the hills, the wind, the rain, the sometimes cold mornings and the potholes (are you crying yet?) there’s a training effect which I am ramping up on weekends with rides out of the city that are slowly moving past the fifty km mark.
I love to wave at fellow cyclists riding through the same conditions wherever I go and I especially love it when there’s a return wave and a smile. It’s like fuel for the motor that keeps me going no matter what.
When the Summer gets here I’ll ramp up to longer rides because I’ll have both the time and the energy and then also because this is a beautiful area filled with amazing scenery, excellent bakeries, superb coffee, and lovely establishments that pour out outstanding handcrafted beers if you wish. I love to take photographs and to find surprises as simple as a brightly coloured door on a little church at the top of a Cavan hill, a run down cabin in the Ganaraska forest, or a sudden flickering of light on the surface of a little pool of water.
I’m on this year’s Ride for Africycle because I know that all of this will be a part of the experience but more importantly because I have come to know my bikes as tools for bringing good into this world. To know that my fundraising will help the people of Malawi, will bring goodness to a part of the world as deserving of that condition as any, is the same sort of fuel as I get from the smiles of the cyclists on Lansdowne. It reminds me that the very beautiful, very intimate experience that is bicycling is also about something much greater and world-changing.