Life Without Wheels: Chronicle of a Car-Free Lifestyle
 
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First off, no. This is not an update on my Double Century Odyssey. But here's a quick summary: I rode 200 miles. 

No, this is a blog post pondering how a chain of events can change the course of a life, or at least, how a chain of events seems to have changed my life. 

In October 2009, at the same time a co-worker resigned and I became a candidate for her position, my beloved Blue Huffy was stolen. I was heart broken, but made the promise that I would look at this opportunity to look for an even better bike.

I ended up with Squeaker, since renamed the Death Machine

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The Death Machine changed my life...
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All of a sudden, I was able to pedal and travel faster than ever before and with very little effort. I began to gain confidence in my cycling, my cycling/car-free lifestyle, and, by transference, every other aspect of my life. I loved and still love the sustainability and self-reliance of bicycling as a mode of transportation and way of life. So I decided I would attempt a grand feat of physical performance and ride my bike to the Grand Canyon. To do this, I would need to start putting in long rides. So I embarked on my first century on December 25, 2009. Then celebrated with Los Angeles Critical Mass, which rolled right as I returned from my 100. Then I did 150 miles, then I did 200! 

After I completed 100 miles in 5 hours 30 minutes (ish), I decided there really was something to this going fast business, so I thought, what the heck, let's check out cycling racing...

Well, as I had become more ingrained in the tight-knit cycling community, I gained a lot of Twitter followers. Some of whom are marathon runners and racers, athletes, etc. I caught the bug from the LA Marathon and thought, well, I can train for both a marathon and a cycling race, right? 

Well, then some one told me I should just go all the way, get down and dirty, and a swimsuit, and train for a triathlon. AND...just a few weeks into training and I love it. I swim, I run, I bike. I push my body to its physical limits. I have all this confidence that is a mature confidence, not an arrogant confidence, that I think helped me land the promotion. I also think that I've learned a lot about myself while riding my Schwinn (trust me at 9pm and 175 miles trying to get that last 25 in before you fall over and pass out, you're learning a lot!) and what I've learned has helped me really know who I am, what I want, and how I expect people to treat me. Believe it or not, I used to be somewhat of a doormat. Not a typical doormat, but a doormat. At least I felt that way. 

It's late, I'm rambling, and I'm sure this post doesn't say all I want it to say. I know people make fun of Schwinns. They're not top of the line. They don't make the best race bikes, and I don't even know if they make a tri bike. But Schwinn will always have a special place in my heart.

Even 1980s steel Schwinns that are 5 inches too big. 

 


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