Sunday, May 1, 2011

Time to take my training wheels off!

I've acquired so many cycling friends online via Twitter (my handle is @CThongklin) and in 'real life' who have inspired me in so many ways into the person and rider I am today!  Many of those Tweeps (Twitter 'peeps') have existing blogs and have documented their journey on their bike, no matter how casual or serious of a rider they are.  Thinking about it, this would be the natural next step for me to post my passion, my journey on my own bike and also information or education about cycling to hopefully inspire someone to hop on a bike and see how it transforms their lives!  Bicycling has completely transformed me internally and externally from the sedentary person I used to be.
C.T. -- Cycling addict, meteorologist and musician
I'll elaborate more on a future post about how I got seriously started into cycling but it simply began in 2004 when I was heavier and had a physical showing that my health was going the wrong way.  Because of cycling, my journey of faith with God, my family and friends... I'm so grateful to be in the place where I'm at now in life going through some pretty rough times and learning a lot about life and myself, becoming the happier and healthier person I am today!

My goal is to have a place for people to not only follow my journey on the bike, but to also have a new online home to learn about profession of meteorology that I work in!  I've learned so much about weather and how it affects everyone.  I know many are interested in weather and this is the place for me to share that passion that I had since I was a kid, too!  This medium will give me an opportunity share some of my knowledge as to why things happen in the world of weather.

Lastly, I happen to be a musician.  23 years ago, I started playing the violin in public school through an instrumental music program offered.  I pretty much stuck with it because it was different and fun, since no one in my family plays instruments or even sings!  I became classically trained and nearly minored in music in college after playing grew on me.  Although I enjoy listening to and performing classical music, I really enjoy playing bluegrass and American folk music.  I have tried a bit of Dave Matthews, too, but don't worry...I'll never replace Boyd Tinsley!  I'll post some performances or share some playing tips on this blog, too!
Standing in front of the cycling peloton bench at Hargleroads Park in Omaha, NE
I'll directly credit two people for inspiring me to take this next step to create a blog:

The first is Krissy.  I met Krissy back in 2009 through her sister, Karla, who is a hairstylist that works with my stylist, Jen.  Karla recommended that I befriend her sister who is into cycling.  Shortly after a couple conversations and ultimately a ride, I found out how serious she is into the same hobby I come to love!  Hard to find someone that has the same level of passion about the hobby that has such a niche!

Krissy and I on a ride stopping at Two Rivers State Recreation Area west of Omaha in November 2009.  As you can see, Krissy ISN'T a Husker fan!

If you get a chance to know her, she's just an all around cool and very witty gal but loves to share her enthusiasm and encourage others to get into cycling after it has changed her life.  She was inspired by her dad and grandpa and her 'hero', Lance Armstrong, to get into cycling.  You can read more about Krissy and her journey by reading her blog at this link.  Since we share so much in common and is so much fun to be around with, we've become one of my many best friends and a riding partner that I enjoy spending time with!

The second person to inspire me is a newer friend, Darryl.  I started following Darryl on Twitter (@lovingthebike) last year.  Darryl created and maintains his blog called Loving The Bike.  Although he's currently based out of Austin, TX, his purpose is to get people interested in cycling and sharing some practical and also fun tips for people getting on a bike!

Last month, Darryl was part of a nationwide contest called '30 Days of Biking'.  It's a grassroots campaign that started up in 2010 in the Twin Cities to simply challenge cyclists to integrate more bicycling into their daily lifestyle.  It didn't matter how casual or serious the rider was but the idea was to simply encourage people to ride more, to better health, save money on gas and to have fun!  Although Darryl didn't formulate the '30 Days of Biking' concept, he took on the challenge for teams by's Sean Mellor.  Darryl took this challenge for fun and to see how many people would compete with's team ... so he formed Team Loving The Bike, of course!  Darryl ended up corralling many cyclists on Twitter and ended up growing a sizeable group of people from not only the U.S. but internationally, including U.K. and Australia!  I didn't find out about this 'contest' until after April 1st, but I participated anyway riding 469 miles!

I'm getting off topic, but Darryl inspired me to ride more simply through his efforts to corral people online and from his wonderfully written blog on cycling!