By Sandra Beggs
So…here’s the thing. David and I got into cycling because we love the way it feels when you’re flying along on a bike. We love the workout you get on a bike (and I love the low impact exercise that does not hurt my already damaged knees). And…we love how green cycling is…cliché notwithstanding…in fact our motto at Cycle Therapy is Burn Carbs Not Gas!
Because we love cycling (and because David does not do things by half)...we moved to the Cowichan Valley a few years ago and opened our bike store. So here we happily are…totally immersed in the local cycling culture. We organize and help out with a few local races and get involved in ‘Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day’ and ‘Bike to Work Week’. And this year we are organizing the first ‘Cowichan Valley CAN Ride’…a tour of the Cowichan Valley that take place on the 28th of September with proceeds going to the Canucks Autism Network (CAN)!
Meanwhile…many of our Cycle Therapy customers have become friends. One such friend is Doyle Childs. Doyle first came into Cycle Therapy in the fall of 2011 just before he turned 50. He had lost both his parents to cancer, felt that his own health was threatened by increased weight, and wanted to make a positive change in his own life. He invited his brother to join him in committing to participate in the 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer. He needed a bike…so he came into Cycle Therapy and that is how we met. Doyle bought himself a Rocky Mountain Metropolis as a 50th birthday present to himself and commenced training towards his goal. What he did over the next few weeks, months, and now years…was truly remarkable.
Doyle often works in Victoria, so most days he would take his bike to work on the bus (love those bike racks on the bus) and then at the end of the day he would ride home to Mill Bay. He loved his alone time on the bike…time for quiet contemplation and planning. When you go on long rides, Doyle told me, you have lots of time to think. He determined that he was going to do whatever he had to in order to get fit. He dropped about 30 pounds almost right away and then he hired a coach, Hilary Wille, because, after successfully completing the Ride To Conquer Cancer Doyle decided to make the 2013 Cowichan Challenge Triathlon his next goal.
He said that his first triathlon was intimidating and scary but in the end he was very happy to realize that he had finished in the middle of the pack. I participated in that triathlon as well; bad knees and all. I remember seeing Doyle’s smile at the end of the race. I’ve never seen a bigger smile than his that day. That race result inspired him to keep entering triathlons. He completed the Elk Lake, the Metchosin, and the Cultis Lake Triathlons; no less than four sprint distance triathlons his first year of competition! The 2014 race season will see Doyle complete 8 triathlons; participating in his first Olympic distance tri on Labour Day.
Doyle tells me that one of the best things resulting from this change in his life style is that it has improved his sense of self-worth. He has (almost) completely eliminated that “negative self-talk” that can be so destructive. Not to mention that his health has improved and he is becoming more and more of a force to be reckoned with in the races. His coach has taught him to perfect his “transition” technique and that has improved his time and he just loves that. How much weight has Doyle lost? I didn’t even ask him. It’s obvious that Doyle is much fitter than he was in 2011…and he looks so happy with his new life-style and stoked about upcoming challenges. What really matters simply can’t be measured in pounds lost. Doyle owns a building in Duncan where numerous people work. He recently built a secure bicycle lock-up in that building that is out of the weather so that people who work in the building can bike to work and safely store their bikes. Now that matters!
Cycling is fun. Cycling is green. Cycling is good for your health, both mental and physical. Riding a bike, whether participating in races, riding to work or school, or enjoying the great local trails with your family, is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the environment. Just ask Doyle!