I started cycling in 2007 as way to spend some time with my wife. The first 20 km ride we went on I couldn't keep up with her. But I quickly realized that this was for me. One day that year I was riding on the back roads of southern Ontario by myself in the pouring rain and for a brief time - it felt like I was a child again. I have come to cherish the solitude, discipline and challenge of riding. I have been fortunate to combine passions, strengths and values in my cycling, education and travel.
There are also many life lessons that I continue to learn from my cycling. Here are just a few of them:
- First and foremost is the quote that has been attributed to the former American Professional cyclist Greg LeMond that "it doesn't get easier, you just go faster".
- When my legs are burning, and my heart is in my throat - I realize that it is just a sensastion and that I need to stay calm and carry on.
- When riding in a group, the temptation is to look at the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. In reality, the safest place to look is to the horizon.
- Riding in a group is all about keeping a steady pace, don't surge ahead and whatever you do, don't fall off the back of the group.
- Cycling is really a team sport. The sum of the team is way stronger than any individual.
- Cycling in a group requires skill, discipline and trust.
- You will never know your breaking point - or what you are capable of doing - unless you occasionaly "break" or hit a wall.
- The best way to be fast and efficient is keep your momentum (don’t slow down if you don’t have to) and minimize your resistance (wind is the enemy).
- Riding fast on two 23 mm thin rubber tires can be precarious business. Even with managing risk, at some point one will crash (which I have), hurt themselves (which I have) but be a smarter rider afterwards (which I am).