Thursday, June 8, 2017

To retire or to retire

My name is Len kooy. I’m a husband father and Opa. I went from Los Angeles to new York in2013. In 2015 I did jasper Alberta to glacier park Montana. 2016 we rode in RAGBRAI with sea to sea. I blogged everyday for all three of these events. I plan on blogging the 91/2 weeks of this event. There will be many pictures with some of my thoughts mixed in. My grammar and spelling may annoy some. What I say may be entertaining but then again it may not be. It will always be honest. Hopefully it will give you an insight into what’s happening on the ride each day.
Hey all. It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog. Last summer during my ride in RAGBRAI. It’s been tough to get motivated to write. I’ve been busy helping the kids with their houses. Somewhere between that I’ve been training for this ride. Because I’ve done a ride like this before I kind of have an advantage because I know what to expect. I think it’s also a disadvantage. Like most males I may tend to procrastinate. At least that’s what my wife says. I started training indoors and had full intension of being ready for when the weather changed. Did you now it easier to find excuses not to ride then it is to ride. Riding inside is totally different then riding outdoors. Inside you ride at whatever pace and difficulty you feel like. Had a tough day ride for 45 min. Had an easy day maybe an hour and a half. Make the tension on your wheel like your climbing a hill and when you’ve had enough let off or stop. Now riding outdoors is totally different. Start to ride and you get the familiar feeling that you always get for the first 5 kms. That is, what are you thinking. Your legs feel like they have lead weights attached to them. You get 15 or 20 kms from your home and then you realize your tired but you can’t just jump off your bike and head to the fridge or couch. You have to ride home. Just your luck, the wind changed direction. Your now against it on the way home. I think you call that forced hill training. Speaking of climbing hills. You can’t stop when you think you’ve done good enough. You have to keep climbing til you get to the top. The joys of the outdoors.
The things you forgot since your last long ride come flooding back. Why is my butt so sore. Oh ya I need to stand up and let the circulation back in. Changing gears up hill, oh ya let off the pedal pressure a bit just before you shift to make the change easier. Wow that car whizzed right beside me. A little wobble on purpose as you see them coming in your rear view mirror makes them go wide. Why is it so hard to pedal today? I guess I should have check my tire pressure.
Wow my fingertips are freezing. Should have checked the weather before I headed out. The other day I check the weather and it said cloudy 0% chance of rain. We’ll let me tell you that I felt that familiar feeling of water slowly filling up my shoes. I also realized that wearing sunglasses that wrap around your head helps keep rain and stones out of your eyes.
So I’m looking down at my front tire and I think to myself, retire or retire. After a nail punctured my tire half way through my 2013 ride across the country I, being the cheap Dutchman I am put a used tire from Terry Barnes on my bike. Just temporary I told myself. I think he took this tire across the country once, maybe twice. He says he kind of got sick of it. It’s never had a flat he told me. I can change that I said. 4 years later an that tire is still on my bike. Upon closer inspection it has slices and cracks in it but it’s never been flat. As I come screaming down a hill at 70km I think to myself maybe I need to retire this tire. But it’s been a great tire. It’s never let anyone down. Just cause it’s old cracked and weathered. I’m old cracked and weathered. Do I retire. That’s when I realize it’s not about me. It’s not about the tire. It’s about the person living in poverty. The kid living in poverty. I’m not riding for myself. I’m fortunate enough to be able to take 9 1/2 weeks and ride across this country , not for me, but for the people in this country and around the world that are living in poverty. Many extreme poverty. All the struggles and hardships don’t seem to be so big anymore.
If you would like to support this great cause you can do so online @

1 comment:

  1. Best post I've read on trusting old rubber and the analogy of people retiring or being retired. Thanks for this and looking forward to reading rest of your blogs.