That Doesn’t Sound Like Fun


“So let me see if I have this right, you got on your bikes and rode day after day through the heat and rain and have ridden over 300 miles, and tomorrow you’re going to ride 65 more?”

“Yep”

“That doesn’t sound like fun”

I’ve heard this a few times. I believe the premise is wrong. We often talk about life in terms like “fun” or “happy”. What if there is something better than fun?

Biking for hours is sometimes fun, it is definately amazing to see all of the beautiful creation; from beautiful blue skies painted with stokes of white clouds; green trees each unique (which can also provide you cool shade from the hot sun during your ride); lakes with the morning mist rising, begging you to try and capture them with a photo from your phone; geese, deer, and other wildlife bounding into view as you pass by. Yes that is fun. 

It is fun to detach from work, from timelines, from commitments and just lose yourself in your thoughts. 

It is fun to ride up beside someone and discover they are from another state or continent and learn about the place they live and hear their story. 

But I still understand why people ask the question. When you have been hours into a ride and your bottom is sore, your quads seem spent and you wish the water in your bottle was cold it would be difficult to call that fun. But maybe there is something greater than fun. 

Fun (and happy) come and go based on our circumstances. But joy comes from a state of mind. If fun is fleeting, joy comes with time and can even require pain to be achieved. Very few Olympic athletes consider their training fun, but achieving their goals, representing their country, competing for the podium – that is their joy. 

Sometimes I have fun on the bike, but even when I don’t there is joy at the end of the ride. In the knowledge that I have finished something hard. That I have pushed my body beyond where it was before. That I am a 52 year old man who is chiseling away the fat from my muscles and getting stronger. That tomorrow I will finish a week of biking across the state of Georgia. These things bring me joy. 

I would suggest that even when life brings us hardship, emotional pain, and even deep sadness that joy is possible. Not happiness (or fun), because only a fool would claim they are happy during times of great emotional loss, but joy? Yes that is possible, and the more we move from defining successful life experiences based on fun alone and look for joy the more we will find joy even in the difficult time. 

How Many Flat Tires Can One Person Get?


For my son Josiah that answer is 3. After crashes getting a flat tire is the worst. But here’s the upside. We really didn’t have to be anywhere. There wasn’t an appointment we had to make or a deadline to finish because this is a Ride not a Race.  

This was the first day and I am trying to adjust myself to thinking a little slower, with less anxiety. Although a flat is annoying we didn’t have to rush. So I’m trying to slow down. 
69 miles is a long bike ride. For my friends that are in Clarkston we went right through Clarkston. We ended in Social Circle Georgia. It’s a very quaint town with Victorians and Greek Revival homes across the street from one another. The people have been very friendly. Strong southern accents and a great display of southern hospitality (they opened up the restaurants just for us today-they are usually closed on Sunday’s). 
The photo is of our sleeping arrangements. Hundreds of sleeping bags in a high school gym. There are families with little kids, old, young, middle aged and lots of different ethnic backgrounds. 
Tomorrow on to Milledgeville Georgia. Only 68 miles. 

The Journey of 400 Miles Starts With…


The first pedal stroke. Am I excited? Yes! Am I intimidated? Yes! 

As I lay here on my sleeping bag in a basketball gym with a few hundred people getting ready to sleep I am contemplating tomorrow. 

Everyone who has done BRAG before has advice. As in life some people give good advice, they make you feel very positive about your journey. Other people…they mean well, they say things that seem so minute that my mind starts to wander, truthfully they make the journey seem tedious. I want to be the first type of advice giver, in life as well as in BRAG. 

Some say it will rain, I actually like riding in the rain. I’m looking forward to riding through Downtown Atlanta, rarely do I have the opportunity to ride with the confidence that riding with hundreds of other bike riders will provide. 

Tomorrow we begin-pedal on!

Less than 2 Weeks 2 Go

In less than 2 weeks Josiah and I will begin our odyssey of Bike Riding Across Georgia (BRAG). 

Here is what I’ve learned:

  • The ride is about 400 miles total.
  • There will probably be more than 1000 people riding
  • Going to REI for overnight gear is way too expensive
  • Getting you body in condition to sit in a saddle day after day is more important than having the legs to do it. (Although both are important)

I am both excited about the prospect of doing this and wondering if I have picked something a bit too daunting. 

A Serious Roadtrip

A Serious Roadtrip

In June I am going to take on the BRAG–Bike Ride Across Georgia. http://www.brag.org/#!brag/c1tti

Yes, it is what it sounds like, it is a bike ride from Atlanta to Savannah. 260 miles by car on the freeway, still not exactly sure how far via bicycle.

How long will it take? A week. Will I be doing this alone? No. I will be doing this with my son Josiah and about a thousand other friends. I really don’t know any one other than Josiah but the organizers of BRAG state on their website that all one thousand of us will be friends by the time it is over.

I love biking but have never attempted to be in the saddle day after day for this long, but it sounds like a great goal, a challenge that I will enjoy conquering. Josiah is 14. A few months ago I was holding back to let him keep up. Now he is holding back so I can keep up with him.

So this is my blog. I have never blogged before. I plan to blog each day of the BRAG to tell my story. I will have to do it from my iPhone since I won’t be hauling my laptop with me. I have a feeling this will be a significant experience and I want to tell my story. So come along for the ride if you like.