I’d been using my REI-purchased mountain bike to commute around school and social activities for a few years but this is the year I went from a bicycle rider to a cyclist. That distinction carries a little more weight that I really want but it is correct.
I remember my first ride was a lung-scorching 5 mile ride around the Auburn University campus. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, and not just because of the pain. Riding was absolutely amazing! I had rebuild a Schwinn Crossfit hybrid and it was the first bike I’d ever ridden with skinny-ish tires and a rigid fork and it felt like I’d been blasted off the surface of the planet. I think at this point I had been quit smoking for a month and a half but was still drinking pretty heavily and working in our restaurant.
I slowly built up my distance until I moved to Atlanta, I then took a 3 week break while I recovered from a few different issues. Once I got settled I jumped right into riding around Gwinnett county and eventually built up a fixed gear with my first ride being a short mile and a quarter on 12/19/11. I remember how excited I was to try out riding fixed and how happy it made me when I went for my first ride and felt like I was being pushed around by a giant invisible hand.
I didn’t do any races in 2011 but I tried to got to a race in Tallahassee but TW and I decided to turn around about halfway since there were major thunderstorms that appeared to be passing through right when the race was supposed to go on.