As the new year stretches out ahead of you like a freshly paved road, stillness and calm creep deep into your soul. The quiet determination to do something meaningful this year. Or, it scares you shitless because you’ve zeroed in on a big goal but without a plan of how to execute yet. This is why you’re supposed to get drunk tonight.
I don’t know about you but my natural inclination once I lay claim to a substantial goal is to immediately look for evidence as to why i’m nuts in thinking this goal is attainable. I’ll relentlessly search for clues that will answer this question….”What the hell are you thinking?”
What i’ve learned over the years from doing big charity bike rides is that looking at the event itself is too much. It’s like looking at the Grand Canyon or West Edmonton Mall. Or Beyonce. Too much to take in at once.
Cadence: The flow or rhythm of events, especially the pattern in which something is experienced.
Best advice I can give anyone wanting to bite off the massive undertaking of their first big ride is to build a cadence. A rhythm that will play you through to your goal. Much like when you’re out for a ride and need to get from point A to point B. Steady as she goes. Not too much gas at the start where you get burned out and discouraged. Eye on the prize knowing full well it can’t be seen from here yet.
This isn’t about being a cyclist. This is about being a human with a wish to ride for a cause. I’ve met more people over that last six years that are driven to do a ride through heart and soul over quads and glutes. I believe the former are stronger components in charity cycling events and are what you need to develop and nurture more than what you could ever do in training. Don’t get me wrong, you’re going to need to train your ass off but this isn’t what i’m about here. I’m more of a buddy than a coach. Not after being the best cyclist but the best me. Not everybody or every buddy is going to understand this.
As far as cycling buddies go, there is strength in numbers so my intention in creating this particular peloton of like minded people is to have a place to find some words of encouragement. To share the stories. To nurture a solidarity in the poking fun of how outrageous this world can be. It’s all part of the cadence. A long trickling out of support and positivity rather than one big GO FOR IT.
It will suck. These rides can be hard. Know that and let the cadence you start to build and commit to be what drives you through the parts that hurt. That bore you. The parts where outside influences rattle your determination. You can do this. You’re in the right place. Here looking for answers and support. Making yourself stronger than your excuses.
I yanked the above photo from a buddy’s facebook page, Trevor Crystal. Ridden across the entireness of Canada propelled by heart. Doing it again this year. Unwavering in his pursuit of a destination beyond cancer. One in the suitcase of hero’s that I keep close for inspiration.
Connect to why you are doing what you are doing and have the what be secondary to your purpose. You are either doing this for a particular cause or the cause is you and your well being. That is the training tip that I believe pays off the best. But that’s just me.
This can be your year. The one where you do your first big ride. I’ve got a few quotes pasted to my brain and i’ll end with the one that propels me as much as it haunts me. In the end the ride may not be all about you but this part surely is. The decision. Make it.
See you out there. You bloody maniac you.