Your Bicycling Journey Starts Here...

If you aren't interested in bicycle training techniques, if you aren't interested in bike equipment, if you aren't interested in bicycle racing or touring, then leave this blog now. You're in the wrong place. Bicycling Blogger will not appeal to you and you'll waste your time here.

But, if riding your bike is really fun. If riding your bike fast is really fun. If you like seeing the world from the seat of your bike. If you even like to mix it up a little with some group riding, or better yet, bike racing, then Bicycling Blogger is totally for you.

As a cyclist myself, I came of age way before the Armstrong era. Grabbing my attention first was Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer winning the silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Road Race. Then, a huge double wammy in 1986: the first North American pulled on the Tour de France yellow jersey, and better yet he was also a Canadian - Alex Stieda (actually he was awarded every coloured jersey after his phenomenal Stage 1 win). And to top it off, the first great American cyclist, Greg Lemond, won Le Tour that year.

These guys inspired me. Maybe a young Canadian could make a go of it in the world of competitive cycling - and so my dream was born.

But really, I just muddled along. Sure, I trained. I found a book, Beginning Bicycle Racing by Fred Matheny. I subscribed to Bicycling Magazine. I sucked up as much about training for bike racing as I could, but without any coaching, without joining a club, without really doing any racing. Sure, I rode a few club level mid-week races here in Edmonton, AB. I did one sanctioned race, the Edmonton edition of the 1984 Canadian Ice Cream Classic. I actually did not bad in that one, finishing on the podium in second place. I had some potential, but what I lacked at the time was the focus to do something truly great with that potential. It would take me about another 12 years to finally get things figured out.

In the meantime, university, marriage, career took up all my time. I was focused, but not on bike racing. But bike racing was always there, in the back of my mind. I continued to follow Le Tour. The advent of the Internet really helped, as I could finally follow the race progress on a daily basis. Back in the '80s, I had to watch weekly TV highlights on ABC Sports that were spliced in with boxing coverage. I'm not a boxer, so why did I have to sit through all those matches, hoping the next round would be the knockout so we could get back to the cycling? In the '90s the Internet solved all that.

My career took me to Ottawa, where I spent those years commuting to work (a perfect excuse to do some bike riding). I would train a bit after work, maybe do a longer ride on the weekend. But was I ever going to do some real bike racing? I hit 30, had my first child, and then, probably while potty training my daughter, I said to myself, "Pee or get off the pot!" It was time to either give this bike racing thing an honest try or finally shelve that dream and get on with other things. Even if I was already 30 and a "Master". Even though I was really only a beginner - for in cycling age-based Masters racing begins at 30.

The best thing I did at the time was join a bike club - the Ottawa Bicycle Club. I found a group of other like-minded people to ride with. They had a structured series of weekend rides. And I got in-the-loop of racing. I started riding the Tuesday Night Criterium series, on the same course that Gord Fraser got started on. Finally I began recognizing the faces at the races. They weren't much different than me. I belonged.

So no matter what your age - a Junior just starting out. A Senior with lots of potential. A Master who wants to ride for fitness, for life, and maybe to race, my best advice to you is simply join one of your local bicycle clubs. On my blog here, you'll find lots of resources to support your passion for everything bicycling. But in the end, to really put it all together, you won't go wrong by joining a bike club. I'm back living in Edmonton now, so if you're a local rider a good place to start your journey is with my club: the Edmonton Road & Track Club.

And of course, subscribe (it's free!) to Bicycling Blogger (check out the widgets in the side-bar), or bookmark I'll be your in-the-know club member no matter where you are on the journey...

P.S. Drop me an e-mail if you've got something you want to explore:
kevin @

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