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Gabriel’s Story: #myrideto Austin

March 20, 2014

It’s been really fun and inspiring to get to know Bryan, Katherine, and Gabriel and find out about their rides to becoming cyclists. Since we first started this, many folks have come in to check out our beginner cycling packages and have started their own #myrideto stories, many similar to Gabriel’s, below. Share your story with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the #myrideto hashtag and spread the love of bikes.

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What made me decide to get into cycling?

Just a few months ago, I was going through a rough patch in my marriage and business. One day, my brother found two abandoned Trek mountain bikes at a job site, and knowing I liked bikes as a kid, he thought I would get a kick out of fixing them. Little did he know that I would take it to the level I did. At first, it started out like a nice little weekend project.  As I started fixing the bikes up and taking them out for rides, I started to get hooked. I began with only being able to ride about 5 miles on my mountain bike to then upgrading to a road bike and doing a 50-mile group ride, all within 4 months. Every ride that I would take, either with my brother, with my first road-cycling friend, Jose Castaneda, with a group ride or by myself, filled me with an intense peace, joy and excitement like I have never felt before. It’s something that you have to experience for yourself.

Cycling changed my life because it gave me an outlet to release any frustration or stress that my current situation was creating. It gave me something to look forward to in the afternoons and a reason to wake up early on the weekends.  Of course, my fitness improved. I lost some of that stubborn fat and gained extra energy and mental focus during the day when I start it off with a good ride.

If I had to narrow the benefit of cycling in to a few words,  I would say, “I ride to find myself.”

I got involved with Bicycle Sport Shop because they do a complementary afternoon group ride for Soldiers in Camp Mabry on Thursdays.  One of my superior officers saw me riding one morning on the base and invited me to join them. On my first ride, as novice as I was, they tucked me under their wings, didn’t judge my non-pro cycling attire, or my rookie riding mistakes and empowered me to keep riding and improving.  From there I also joined other Bicycle Sport Shop rides on the weekends which introduced me to the shops and the support from the entire staff along with ride captains like Todd Musick , who has taught me so much in so little words.

Since then, I have friends and family ask me why I have become so crazy about cycling in such a short time. I just respond that when it’s just me, my bike and the road, there is nothing more peaceful and captivating.   Not even sleeping can put me in the state of mind of tranquility that cycling does for me.

When I meet people who get inspired by me, but hesitate to get into cycling, what I like to say is that you don’t have to break the bank to get started. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I started on a free bike and little by little built it up and upgraded. The important thing was to get on the bike, any bike and start riding. You can’t wait for all the conditions to be perfect, just start where you are.

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