A Fine Day for a Ride
To an experienced cyclist, 6 miles is nothing. But for me, it was the culmination of a major, challenging project.
Back in March, I'd hatched my plan to ride in the American Diabetes Association's National Capital Tour de Cure fund-raiser on June 14. First, however, I had to learn to ride a bike, something I'd never managed to do in all my 38 years.
There were many times over the course of the spring that I wondered what I'd gotten myself into—and whether I'd been too ambitious. There were falls, a nasty scrape, and many bruises, and, worst of all, weeks when my schedule didn't allow me to ride at all. But there was also the pleasure of riding with friends, the exhilaration of coasting down hills, the good aches that a tough workout can provide—and the blissful naps that followed.
June 14 itself happened to be an exquisite blue-sky day. My blood glucose did just what I wanted it to, I fell only once, and I got to coast in at the end to the cheers of family and friends—as did about 1,400 other riders. I had persuaded 10 people to join "Team Training Wheels," and together we raised several thousand dollars to help people with diabetes.
I still can't quite believe that I rode in the Tour. And I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without the assistance of my friends—especially my buddy Dan, who was with me the entire 6 miles, providing needed guidance and distracting me with tales of his dirt-biking youth.
Am I going to ride a century (100 miles) in next year's Tour? Probably not. But I may do 12. And either way, I heartily recommend to you the occasional overly ambitious goal. Achieving it feels very, very good.