When I don the padded lycra mid-thigh bike shorts, I know my day will be great and the lessons valuable. Whether I’m alone or with another cyclist, my goal is the same: ride hard, safely, learn something, and enjoy every second.
Yesterday I had the opportunity, because time and sunshine allowed it, to ride as long as I could. I went down the familiar portion of the Katy Trail listening to music, (Meghan Trainor seed) then a book, (You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero). In my head, told myself, “the goal today is a ride to the I-64/40 freeway,” a point I had gone only once before last year. But once I reached the bridge under the freeway, I chose to keep going. That lesson: tenacity.
The canopy of trees shaded the trail with bits of sunshine peeking through. At one point, I took out my earbuds to listen to the sounds of the Trail. I heard a woodpecker, a cacophony of cicadas, and the crackle of the trail under my tires. That lesson is to listen.
I discovered another sign pointing to a Greenway. I took the turn and headed down a paved path, surrounded on both sides by a babbling creek/brook. It was beautiful and serene. At the end of the path, I was looking at the map-sign, unsure where I was when a nice lady appeared on her bike. I asked her where we are and she told me, we chatted a few minutes, then parted. Again, I had never ridden this far before! That lesson: discovery.
When it was all over, and I was safely back at our house, I looked at the stats of the ride. My PB (personal best) AND an NDB (never done before) appeared in my sight: over 33 miles of riding, round trip. Big lesson: I can do it.
Those bike shorts, now deemed magic shorts, bring out things in me I didn’t know I had. Maybe I can do anything. Maybe failing forward is part of the journey. Maybe listening to my inner voice, and people smarter than me makes a difference. That’s the final lesson: just figure it out + do it + play full-on + enjoy the journey.