Friday, February 12, 2016

On Two Wheels And Self-Propelled

        Forty-three years ago I decided to share my fascination with cycling with the people around me by publishing a weekly column. I used the nom de plume "Bodfish" from the very beginning. My bicycle adventures and writing about them were my personal I tried to make sense out of the world around me. Mapping and exploring helped me locate myself on the earth and in society. I was excited to share these discoveries with everyone so, I wrote about them.
       The miles covered, the exercise, the heavy breathing, the heart pumping, working through bodily glitches...the chaffing and the blisters...were secondary. I was fast becoming an exercise evangelist, or at least, that's how others saw it. My 'following' has always been small but editors were always hard up for copy.
        At 65 I am still maps, to exercise endorphins and to getting the word out about cycling therapy. At thirteen, a neighborhood kid talked me into joining the high school cross country team. I was never very good but, like everyone else on the team, I ran forty miles a week with hopes of finishing in the top five during the next meet. Running through the pain and exhaustion, listening to my heart and lungs coordinate their pace to promote my goals, for the next four years, taught me that there were rewards for constant effort...never take the lazy option, always get out there, work it and tell the world how good you feel.
        Another attempt at changing the world commenced when,  in 1976,  I invited others to join me on a 100 degree day in August to ride The Bidwell Bump, (which I very nearly christened as The Bodfish Bump however, I thought geography was more important than my chosen "handle")...a ten mile bicycle race on dirt in Bidwell Park. A dozen hearty folks on a variety of two-wheel steeds, raced and everyone won a prize...including the first female mountain bike racer ever, Lisa Sedlacek whom, I later married.