• Patrick Gabrion

Stay off the bike, that's an order

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Back in mid-July I penned a blog piece titled "Taking a vacation from my bike." Vicky and I spent four days in North Hero, Vermont, relaxing and enjoying each other's company while staying at an inn located along Lake Champlain. I wrote about witnessing "Bike Heaven" because there were literally hundreds of cyclists cruising throughout the area. However, I had purposely left my two-wheeled machines home so that nothing could come between me and my lovely wife.


Bikes in the basement, idling and ready for a ride.

I'll admit, being off the bike for that amount of time was rough, but it was my choice. But this past week I encountered something completely different. I was told not to ride for four days — doctor's orders — so that the results of allergy tests I was undergoing wouldn't be messed up by way of sweating. Plus, I couldn't take any showers; I had to keep my back dry.


Here I am, closing in on 5,000 miles for the season and the fact that the first snow was in the forecast, and I wasn't allowed to push my pedals. It's one thing to decide yourself not to jump on the saddle, but quite another when someone else issues a "no ride" directive. I actually said to the nurse administering the tests, "That stinks!" And my remark had nothing to do with any odor concerns I had over the loss of standing under a shower.


In my mind I'm thinking, "I'm running out of good weather here, soon the roads will get covered in sand and dangerous icy conditions." Yes, I do have my fat bike when Old Man Winter finally settles in, but I'm not ready to give up the road — not just yet. My three road bikes — Trek Domane, Trek 2.3, and Schwinn Circuit — are still ready to roll up the miles and hit the big 5-0-0-0. I'm not eager to hang them up in the basement until spring.


Being instructed to stay off the bike was almost too much to endure. The weather was perfect for cycling — albeit a little cold — but with the right clothing, I'd be fine. I just wanted to ride my bike and this doctor was being a meany. Didn't he realize how much my life, and well-being, revolved around my time on a bicycle?


And then I got to thinking again, "Are you so obsessed with bikes and riding that you cannot be off one for only a few days?" I've actually been told by my wife on more than one occasion to go for a ride when I'm in one of those moods that results from not cycling for awhile.


So yes, I guess I have to confess that "life on my bike" is my persona; guilty as charged. But I would imagine anyone who has read my blog entries has probably already figured that out about me. After my wife, son, daughter, family and friends, my big love is bikes. Pure and simple. So please just don't tell me I can't go for a ride!

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