80 miles is a long way to ride. Yes indeed.
And my lazy self wouldn't be bothered to ride more than 12 miles a day, a few days a week in preparation for the Little Red Riding Hood Cycling event- and this is NOT the way to properly prepare tender parts for six hours in the saddle. Seriously, it's like having a stick up your crotch for a really long time. Everything hurts, specifically my legs but dammit! it was worth it- even with the 40 degree temps, crosswinds and rain, the Cache Valley in the spring is a sight to behold. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with silly romantic ideas of snowcapped mountains, rural farmhouses and two lane country roads and yeah... I'm a sucker.
And then there's the women! So many beautiful women in all their various shapes and sizes, old women, young girls, even moms with babies, all determined to do their best. It's certainly an experience I'll not soon forget. How can it not be great to see average women comfortable in spandex and in their bodies, in the great outdoors? Never happens. I consider myself fortunate to be around that kind of confidence.
However wonderful this event was, it was not always about fun. I find it disgustingly satisfying to push myself beyond what I think, or know, I can do and finish because I have no other option- the bathroom is at the finish line. (or maybe I finished because I refuse to let a women 20 years my senior kick my butt? Haven't quite worked that one out yet. camaraderie or competitiveness? hmmm...)
But now that it's over and I've had time to think, I'm convinced the real reason I did the ride is for the food orgy-it's phenomenal! At my chubby fingertips was all manner of junk food, subway sandwiches and fruit. A menu to extensive too list here and all I had to do was give the Bonneville Bicycle and Touring Club 50 dollars and pedal an obscene distance. It was a simple concept and one of the few times I could fully justify gorging on Oreo cookies and Red Vines because- hey, I was going to burn several thousand calories in a few hours time. I love a rational argument.
Ladies, let us not forget that there was a time in our history as women, when it was considered taboo and unacceptable behavior for a lady to participate in sporting events. Now, we have the privilege of getting just as sweaty and smelly as we want.
May you take that gift from our feminist foremothers and find an activity that gets your heart rate up, makes your body ache and makes you feel like a queen.
Now, go out and do it!
Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance."
-Susan B. Anthony, suffragist, 1896