Last month, I had the chance to join my first cycling event of 2021 – the 60-mile Peach Pedal Ride in Weatherford, TX, just a bit west of Ft. Worth.
It was a beautiful 80-degree day in North Texas, which is a true gift in a month that can often hit the 100s. And not surprisingly, those seasonally low temperatures seemed to translate into high spirits for everyone as they contemplated their next 4-5 hours on a bike.
As we began our ride, I was quickly reminded of what I love so much about these events – the camaraderie, the energy, and sheer delight at being able to finally do something we’d all dedicated ourselves to accomplishing. These rides are certainly a reward for everyone’s hard training, but just as importantly, they are also about meeting people from different walks of life – each on their own personal journey. Some ride tandem, others with their pets. Some are training for triathlons, others just want to challenge themselves. I saw families, couples, individuals, and teams – everyone just working on themselves and having a great time in the process.
Another incredible aspect of these rides is that they’re not competitive. Aside from the occasional few trying to reach personal goals, the vast majority of riders are just looking for a healthy way to spend half a day, be outside, make new friends, and perhaps raise money for a good cause. Our everyday professional lives are so often filled with competitive dynamics that anything non-competitive can feel like a mini-vacation. For me, I just wanted to show myself that I could complete a 60-mile journey. Everything else then became secondary, and I was able to enjoy fully the beauty of the day and of the moment.
In the weeks following the event, I’ve frequently asked myself if other aspects of my life can be more of a “ride”. Are there opportunities I may be missing to just live in the present, enjoy the moment, and enjoy the people around me? Can I share those opportunities with others in a way that enriches their lives as well.
Ultimately, for me it all comes down to recognizing that more often than not, the journey truly is the destination. And hopefully there will be many more journeys to follow!