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Life at 10 MPH

Introducing a new series

It’s race season – the Tour de France, triathlons, Crusher in the Tusher – all of this would make you think that the only good use of a bicycle is to race! In fact, as we look at our life on the bike, racing and training for events has been a primary focus, maybe too much so to the exclusion of all the other magical qualities of life on a bike. We know there are other great uses for a bicycle… getting to know the space around you better, slowing it down a bit. Genuinely appreciating the sights and smells around you from your bicycle sounds like a great way to spend time and live life.

We decided to challenge ourselves and transition from primarily participating in endurance events and amateur races to slowing life down and just enjoying time on the bike… using it in every way we can imagine. No training schedule, heck, no schedule at all, no big races, no big events to get ready for, no agenda. Just ride a bike for the fun of it! Hmmm. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. So many of us get on that bike in order to train or stay in shape for the next upcoming event. Will we miss the structure, the “carrot” dangling in front of us to keep us motivated? Will we miss those intervals or hill repeats? Doubt it, but time will tell.

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For now, we are turning the page to a new chapter in life. The first step, drop the heart rate monitors in the drawer and start riding the bicycles that don’t have power meters attached. We didn’t go so far as to leave the Garmins at home. That might be a bit extreme! We’re not sure we can go cold turkey and get rid of ALL the data! Besides, without the Garmin, how will we know if we are really living life at 10mph?

We haven’t always been in the training mode and on the competitive side of bicycling. We’ve spent time cruising to the grocery store or running errands around town on our bikes. We even have “Turbo Dates” with friends and meet up to ride our pedal-assist eBikes to dinner. And we love these short trips around our area. There is something magical about riding down a street and smelling someone’s dinner cooking – or that smell of bacon frying as your riding to the courts early in the morning. Oh so tempting to stop by and invite oneself to breakfast! And how about travel anywhere in the world on our bikes or with our bikes, it is something we’re also eager to expand and explore.

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So here we go. Come along for the ride or better yet, join us on one of our 10mph rides around our community or on one of our adventures to explore new places. This is a first in a series of articles about enjoying cycling and discovering every aspect of life on a bicycle. We hope to encourage you to jump on your bike to run errands, explore a gravel road, go grocery shopping, ride as the suns comes up, pedal to a meeting or go ride with a friend and get to know each other better. Hopefully, you will want to take a trip and take your bicycle along to ride in a strange town, get lost, ask for directions and discover a great new bakery. Take this journey with us and remember life is always better on a bicycle but it might just be best on a bicycle at 10mph.

Written by Craig and Di Shanklin

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