How I Became a Cyclist: A Doctor’s Reflections
I have been cycling now for about 20 years, but the type of riding has changed drastically. I initially began riding a BMX bike. I built a BMX track in the forest across the street from my house when I was growing up. I rode this for years, but slowly gave up riding as I became more involved with high school sports. It was not until college that I again began riding regularly, but at this time I was more interested in mountain biking.
Mountain biking was a great cardiovascular workout, but was not the most social event. I continued to do it for years until I moved to Minnesota for orthopedic residency training. I was then introduced to road cycling by my father, who loaned me a bike that I could use for the local group road rides. I remember one of the rides we went on, I thought I would show him how much I had improved. After 60 miles of him dropping me, I limped back to my car and resolved that I would start training and riding more regularly and really push myself.
I have really enjoyed the social aspect of road cycling as much as the intensity of the workout. There is great comradery in riding in a fast-paced group ride. The cycling community is very welcoming. Almost every city has access to local group rides where bikers can meet one another and go out for a ride (which may be a social gathering all the way to a race-pace ride).
After finishing residency, I moved out to Denver, Colorado. Once again moving to a new city I found other local riders and joined many of the group rides in the area. Riding through the Rocky Mountains is an amazing experience. The landscapes are incredible, and the workouts could not be more challenging. I immediately felt at home with the new city thanks to biking and the amazing cycling community it offers.
After finishing my fellowship in Denver, I moved yet again to Charlotte to work for OrthoCarolina as a hip and knee surgeon. One of the first things I did after arriving was to determine when and where the group rides were. I wasn’t disappointed, because the cycling community in Charlotte is outstanding. I was immediately welcomed at the MoJo Cycles and VeloCity Cycling CLT rides out of southeast Charlotte. I have met a great group of people, have been able to continue cycling with new friends, and feel very welcome to my new community.