This past Sunday morning, I hopped out of bed, donned my cycling gear and moved out the door for a ride. When I reached for the floor pump to inflate my tires, I noticed my front tire was completely flat (obstacle one).
No biggie, found another tube, changed the flat and within minutes headed towards the road. We needed to get moving to avoid the miserably oppressive summer heat. Here is where the difficulties really started.
After a few minutes pedaling down the street, it became apparent how sluggish I was. My cadence was the same as usual but none the less, I was moving slower than usual. Or was everyone else moving more quickly? At that point, I couldn’t tell until…
you know you are slow when…
- my cadence was steady at 90 rpm but I was traveling on a flat road at only 16 miles per hour
- the first of many cyclists passed me easily
- breathing became heavy and legs were like noodles even though I was barely moving
- some old guy on a mountain bike carrying at least 4 full water bottles passed my new road bike easily
- I worked up a sweat going downhill
- it seemed as if I had been riding all day when in reality it was an hour and a half.
- I get angry at the prospect of continuing the Starbucks closer to my house rather than the one about 3 miles away
- I got excited when I passed a man riding a beach cruiser wearing a reflective vest. Proving someone was actually slower than me
- the last straw was when an elderly man (again on a mountain bike) wearing jean shorts rode past me like I wasn’t even there.
what do you think was the cause of the snail’s pace?
in the final stage of the ride, I had enough of this ridiculously slow pace. Maybe I was ill. Certainly felt sick from pedaling so hard to barely inch forward. When finally Robert questioned if I checked my wheel to ensure it was seated properly and could free spin.
Of course I hadn’t checked the wheel, as I knew how to put the bike back together after changing the tire. I picked the front of the bike off the ground, spun the wheel or so I thought. The darn thing moved slightly then stopped. The entire ride, I was pedaling with the tire rubbing against the brake. Urgh! What was I thinking?
The point here is that although I left the house feeling prepared for what lay ahead, when faced with an obstacle, Rather than trying to follow through and fully solve the problem, I put a band-aid (in this case a new tube) on it and soldiered through the pain.
I created obstacles by not paying close enough attention to details. It was not necessary for me to pedal as hard as I did and have nothing to show for it but a burned out sweaty mess. How often do I burn myself out by omission of something simple yet essential?
At some point, we are all on our way somewhere. How do you get where you are going? Are you always in perpetual motion? Do you run wherever everywhere, or walk at a leisurely pace?
Car, bike, boat, plane or train are all various methods of transportation What I wonder is what does the journey look like? Perhaps you are sure and steady or like many, (including me) you occasionally find obstacles in your path? Either way, hopefully you reach your destination.