Cycling in Oregon

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by darcyw, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. darcyw

    darcyw New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I should join the slowestandfattest thread, but here is my introduction. I was invited over to this forum from the Team Estrogen site.

    I love to bike and I always have. But because I bike doesn't mean I am skinny and lean. Wish I were, but it is the way it is. I do put the miles on my bike though and my current average speed is between 14 and 15.

    At this time of my life, cycling is more than a way to gain fitness. When I was only 45 my husband had a massive stroke after years of being ill, and I was left married to a man with brain damage, along with Alzheimers. It is now 10 years later and I've been caring for this person as his brain dies, which means I am now age 55.

    I finally took control of my life back in 2006, bought a bike, then bought another bike, and got back to my cycling. I love to bike out in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Mostly I bike by myself, and this summer I started mapping my routes on MapMyRide and inputting my exercise into the training log on their site. When I am out cycling in the valley, the beauty of the farmland is overwhelming. I can go down a road I haven't been on for a month and there is an entire field of blooming sunflowers, or borage in bloom, or the corn has doubled in size, or the greenbeans have just been harvested, or the rose gardens have burst into bloom, or I see a bobcat, or there are pygmy goats perched on tree stumps, or I see a condor's nest perched up high, or any number of spectacular things. Cycling is about the exercise and being fit enough to put in the long miles, but it is also about how I can see the environment around me change and evolve with the seasons, and the view from my bicycle saddle is splendid. Not only that, when I get on the bike and go, I can forget for those hours that my marriage ended 10 years ago and widowed me, but yet I am still married, because my situation is unfair and quite heart breaking.

    I only wish I didn't have to ride solo so often. I see solo cyclists on almost every ride, going by on the opposite side of the road, and I wonder who they are and why they ride solo. The other solo riders are usually older males. I rarely see a solo female rider; most female distance cyclists tend to ride in groups of friends or club packs. I have one current cycling buddy for a weekly ride, and now and then I ride with others. However when I bike with someone, and for me it was a gorgeous ride with lots of fun rollers, good distance and good speed, and great views from the saddle, but the other person says something like, "Oh the bike is ok but I think I prefer the treadmill," well then I think I am better off cycling solo because other people just don't get it.

  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

    Welcome to the site Darcy. Sorry to hear about your situation. A couple of years ago my next door neighbor had a stroke and his wife is in much the same boat as you. It's a heart breaking thing. I'm glad to hear that cycling has helped some.


  3. TxCyclist

    TxCyclist Administrator Staff Member Admin Staff

    Glad to hear your finding some happiness in life. It's heart warming to read your still with your husband a decade later after his illness. You must be a very strong person.
  4. darcyw

    darcyw New Member


    Hi Scott and Dean,

    Thank you for the welcome. And thank you to whomever invited me to this site.

    I am lucky that my Alzheimer's spouse doesn't do the "wandering" thing, like go out the back door and disappear. I can go out cycling for hours and when I get back, there he is, dozing in front of the t.v.

    Now on the other hand, this lady I know divorced her husband because he is an avid cyclist. The couple were in their mid-60s. The husband took up cycling to get fit upon the advice of his doctor, fell in love with the cycling, got a better road bike, went out for longer and longer distances, started going on tours, and the wife went into constant screaming fits and divorced him. No kidding. I told her, why don't you just get a bike and go with him. She looked at me with the blankest expression, like I didn't get how wronged she was and that I couldn't possibly understand because I am one of those horrid cyclists too. Yeah well, whatever.