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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

What If…

June 10, 2009

Bill Metz, from OptumHealth, will be a frequent contributor to the blog. This is the sixth of many posts that Bill will be making, dealing with a variety of topics within the life of a recreational cyclist.

When not working, I have spent much of past couple of days finalizing plans for Team UnitedHealth Group and the MS 150 ride.

Unfortunately, the ride overlaps with the NVGP and I will miss the last three days of the race. On the other, I will be spending two and a half days with thousands of cyclists riding 150 mile through some beautiful Minnesota countryside while my workmate, Chris, is actually racing the NVGP. Having started cycling in a more serious way rather late in life, I often wonder if I could have gotten to the level where I was able to compete against the best pro riders in the US of A. As a 50+ year old, “what if?” becomes a much more frequently asked question.

What if I would have had access and connection to a biking club that was into racing and I got involved. Would I have been able to develop a bigger engine and run with the big boys? Would I have been a sprinter? Would crits have been my thing or time trials? Or would I have been forever a cat 4 rider with just enough left to finish in the middle of the pack?

What if I would have kept that old Schwinn 24 incher and used some of my brother’s motorcycle parts to modify it for off road trails? Would we now be riding WAM’ers (William A Metz) instead of Gary Fishers?

What if I would have instead stripped that old Tornado down and fixed the gearing so you always had to pedal and didn’t provide a brake. Would I now be all tatted up with a cool bag that I sling over my shoulder, (which I would have also invented) delivering documents in NYC?

What if? What if I would have started sooner, ridden harder, pushed it longer, suffered a bit more, or not let up? Would I be stronger? Faster? Better? Would I be racing with Chris? Would that be better than the MS 150, or just different? The good news is: it is ours to decide.

So, it is the right question, just asked the wrong way. What if I start now?