Chef John Malik

a writer trapped in a cook's body

39 in a 35

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Yes, that’s 39 miles per hour. That was my maximum speed attained on this past Thursday’s ride.

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I’ve gone faster. I’ve actually hit 55 mph (that’s a story for another day.)

And yes, I know it’s dangerous to go that fast on a bike with only a thin layer of lycra as protection. I also know that there’s almost 40, 000 people killed in traffic accidents, almost 80,000 from diabetes, almost 600,000 from cancer, over 600,000 from heart disease and almost 100,000 a year from Alzheimer’s.

I know, you’re still shaking your head and calling me crazy. Fair enough. It’s a crazy I’ve chosen.

To many of us, adrenaline is like coffee, we need it to complete our day. Personally  don’t ride like that on a daily basis. I might only hit that kind of top speed a couple of times a month and I don’t do it when I’m riding with strangers or the weather, my bike, and road conditions aren’t perfect, or close to it.

So what’s this got to do with the whole Alzheimer’s thing?

Cycling to me is more than a hobby. It’s a way to connect with this earth, my inner self, my friends, and my Savior. When I put in the miles, I see everything. The green of the tree line set against the blue of the sky, the song of dozens of birds, the undulations in the road, the mechanical chatter of a friend’s bike, the steady hum of  my tires. When one is on a bike, you’re exposed to the elements and if you can get your mind past the danger, the rest is gravy. It’s great aerobic exercise, easy on the knees, it’ll take you places you can’t get by running, you can get out in the countryside, the camaraderie…cycling is so much more than exercise.

And one weekend a year I get to participate in a fundraiser for a dreadful disease while cycling across the state.  And when I reach the top of a long climb and the rod starts to lose height and my speed builds, that’s when I’ll count my blessings, absorb myself in the moment, and thank the Good Lord for giving me the opportunity to rush across the face of the earth at 40 mph.

The Ride to Remember to support the SC Alzheimer’s Association departs in five days and I’ll be ready. Care to ride along with me? Just make a donation in my name by clicking here.

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen

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