Last weekend I rode in the Five Boro Bike Tour for the second time, and once again it was truly an amazing experience. It was also a good reminder of a few important lessons I sometimes overlook.
1) We can really surprise ourselves. – We make things much harder in our mind and often we can do much more than we think .
It’s been two years since I’ve done this ride, which obviously makes me two years older! And I’ve been on my bike probably a total of two hours since that last ride. Not exactly what you’d describe as sufficient preparation. Since I was able to complete it last time (including riding the bridges – the biggest hurdle), I decided to be easy on myself this year. I figured I’d proven I could do it and this year I’d have no qualms about dismounting and walking the bridges if necessary. But guess what? It was much easier and I really sailed through this year.
Had I built it up too much in my mind? Maybe, but it was a good reminder to believe in my own abilities.
2) Enjoy the ride and take in the sights. We’ve all been told to take time to smell the flowers, yada, yada, yada. And these days we don’t feel the experience counts unless we’ve put it on Twitter or captured the photos for Facebook. However, when you’re riding a bike among 32,000 people, you really have to be in the moment.
In the first hour I saw many sights which I’d have liked to take pictures of – the Gospel choir on the street corner in Harlem, the family on a bicycle built for three, the man with a blow up doll in the kiddie seat behind him (ok, that was just plain weird), the double amputee pedaling his recumbent bike with his arms.
And while I’d love to have captured the moments with photos, I had to keep my hands on the handlebars and simply enjoy the experiences.
3) .Ask yourself what else you’re capable of. I got to thinking about how many other cool experiences are out there waiting for me. Maybe it’s another physical challenge, but maybe it’s stretching the boundaries in other ways. How can I make choices and create experiences to enrich my life so that I life it to the fullest?
Well that question will have to be answered in another blog post, but as you might suspect, I am cooking up a fun new challenge with a friend. Stay tuned.