• Because as a teacher, husband, and a father of three young girls, I need to do something for myself, by myself.
• Because at age 42, and as someone who’s been an athlete his whole life, I need to know that I can still set goals for my mind and body to achieve.
• Because it’s a blast to ride in the south Florida summer heat, wind, and humidity and watch the drivers who pass me stare and seem to say “Dude, you’re crazy!”
• Because the same psychology that allows me to work through the pain of a long, hot, windy ride helps me work through other tests in my life.
• Because I hate golf and tennis, which means cycling will give me a sport to share with my daughters some day (soon!).
• Because I like being this in touch with my body: at every moment, I know how my legs, lungs, abs, arms, back and neck feel, and how they’re performing.
• Because I like being on a machine that is powered by my legs and lungs, and not an engine and gasoline. As long as my legs go, the machine goes.
• Because I like the fellowship that comes with riding, from the guys at the shop who are so helpful (thanks, Naples Cyclery!), to the sympathetic wave to other riders on the road I’ll never know.
• Because finishing a ride you were sure you couldn’t is a way of beating self-doubt. Eventually, you realize that part of the pleasure is in the pain.
• Because (perhaps a bit less importantly) if you like gear, stuff, toys, gadgets, technology, and flat-out sexy machines, nothing beats cycling.
—Scott Vasey, 42
I ride because my son has cystic fibrosis. He has to keep his lungs strong at all times, so more than anything I want to set an example and keep my lungs strong, too. As I am his inspiration to stay fit, he is mine. Ride hard and breathe strong! I hope you publish this with the hopes that any person who reads it with some sort of disease or another is inspired to ride onwards.
I ride to enjoy a panoramic scene like this one in Northern Italy; there is nothing like it!
Borgio Varezze, Italy
I ride because I am also a runner and twenty-five years of running has taken its toll on my joints; riding my bike gives me an oasis from the pain. I ride because I would rather go for a four-hour ride than run a marathon, to burn off the calories that I shouldn’t have consumed at the Chinese buffet last night. I ride because I cannot run 30 mph. I ride because though running does have its Boston Marathon, it does not have the Tour De France, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of California, or Bob Roll. I ride because I cannot think of one piece of running equipment that is made of carbon fiber. I ride because after doing a six-mile trail run this morning, I am painfully reminded that, though I may be able to out-ride horse flies, I cannot out-run them. I ride because after attending my high school reunionnnn I am reminded of why I told myself in high school that I would never let myself get out of shape after high school. Finally I ride because just running makes Mikey a dull boy!
I started riding two years ago to help me quit smoking. Now I don’t smoke so I can ride.
—Scott Yarbrough; Georgia
I ride because it’s the only place a 56-year-old man who shaves his legs and wears spandex can find acceptance.
—Zorba; Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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