Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

15 July 2015

Post #1500: Does Midlife Have To End?



This is post #1500 of Midlife Cycling.  


When I started this blog, I had no idea of how long it would run or how many posts I’d write—or, for that matter, on which aspects of cycling and my experiences as a cyclist I would focus.


I’m not sure that I’ve focused anything in particular, save for cycling.  I’ve written about whatever strikes my fancy.  In a few cases, it didn’t have much to do with bicycles or bicycling.  Nobody’s complained about anything I’ve done, so I guess I shouldn’t worry.

(Speaking of which:  I’ve published all of the comments I’ve received, except for the ones that are obviously spam or that were filtered and I somehow managed to miss.)



Last month, this blog had another milestone:  five years online.  Time really does march—or roll, or spin—onward.  That fact has made me think about the title of this blog:  Midlife Cycling.  When I posted for the first time, I was what most people would consider “middle-aged”.   I would not resist such a label:  Because of changes in myself, and the world around me, I knew I was past my youth, at least in some senses. And, a few days ago, I was reminded that I am getting closer to what the US and most Western (or Westernized) cultures consider a “senior citizen”.


 On the other hand, because of those changes in myself, I was beginning some aspects of my life all over again.  That was as true of my cycling as anything else:  I knew that I wasn’t going to be the lycra-clad racer (or wannabe) I was earlier in my life.  Then again, I knew that, in some way, I never was that person, at least in spirit.  Sure, I trained and gained the admiration and respect of some of my old riding partners—and a few racing rivals.  But, as much as I love cycling, it was never the only thing in my life.  When I did Tour de France climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees, I was as proud of my ability to talk to local people in their language as I was of making the climbs.


Also, I tried to maintain a classic aesthetic—or a modern adaptation of it—as bicycle technology evolved.  I am not a pedant who wants her bikes to look just like the ones made in 1950 or some other time before she was born.  At the same time, I always wanted my bikes to be pretty—and I don’t consider the Darth Vader shapes or cartoonish graphics of too many parts and bikes made today.  



In other words, I have always been in the process of becoming, as a cyclist and in other areas of my life.  I guess that’s as it should be in the middle of one’s life:  Contrary to received wisdom, I don’t think “middle age” is a time for settling or an interlude between youth and old age.  I think that if you’re in the middle of anything, something is rubbing off on you or you are rubbing it off.  You are then not in a cycle of decay or decline.



That makes me think of something someone—a psychologist, I think—said:  You’re always middle-aged because, as long as you don’t know when your life is going to end, you’re in the middle of it.  So, perhaps, as long as I’m riding or writing, I will reach other milestones on this blog, and in my life, without having to change the title of this blog. 

5 comments:

  1. Justine, 1500 posts - a milestone indeed! Congratulations, and thank you for the bit of pleasure your writing brings to my day.

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  2. I thought your last paragraph as I read the post title!

    I love working my way through the blog and as a bonus it has allowed me to tap out my few thoughts and cycling experiences so never have to start my own cycling blog!

    I watched those plastic bikes fly up the Pyrenees yesterday at speeds i shall never attain on the flat but remain like you midlife to the end.

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  3. Chris--Thank you. If I'm bringing you, or anyone else, pleasure, I'm happy.

    Coline--I'd be curious to see those thoughts. Maybe you don't have to start your own cycling blog. But that shouldn't stop you, if you want to do it!

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  4. "if you’re in the middle of anything, something is rubbing off on you or you are rubbing it off". Great thought, one I will be pondering as I pedal.

    Rebecca (another Midlife Cyclist)

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  5. Rebecca--You really know how to make a girl blush! ;-)

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