I had a great experience this past weekend. It was the 2nd Annual C.A.M.A. Bike Road Rally, and my first time to be part of a big bicycle event like that (C.A.M.A. stands for Coalition Against Meth Abuse). Ever since watching the Tour De France last year, I’d been itching to be part of a pelaton.
My son-in-law T.J. and I had been preparing a little bit: a 26 mile ride to Brocton and back, and then a 45 mile ride home from Fox Ridge State Park the weekend before the rally. I’d also been riding back and forth to work occasionally, doing what I call “Time Trials.” It makes me feel like the riders I see on TV. Of course, their time trials are going 30 mph for an hour! Still, the fast 8 mile sprints helped a lot to build my strength.
It’s amazing how much wind makes a difference. My best time with the wind behind me is 19:10 for the 8 mile “time trial,” about a 24 mph average. On a bad day into the wind (usually the trip in), it can take as much as 35-38 minutes, nearly twice as long!
The C.A.M.A. rally was a 40 mile trip from Twin Lakes in Paris, to Mill Creek over and ending at Lincoln Trail State Park on the other side Marshall, IL. Just like with the St. Louis Marathon my son and I ran this Spring, I was really surprised to see how many people were there participating.
There were quite a few accomplished bikers in their 50’s and 60’s, and a bunch of teens, and everything in between. For some, this was their distance ride ever. For others, like my friend Doug, who took off and never looked back, finishing first, it was a pretty easy ride.
I was really impressed with one rider from Marshall named Don. He actually rode over (on the bike) before the rally, and then rode the rally, too. Oh, and he gave blood the day before! What impressed me most, though, were the new riders—the ones who’d never done anything like that before.
Some of the new riders just did the first 20 mile leg to Mill Creek. Others went ahead and tackled the tougher second 20 mile leg from Mill Creek to Lincoln Trail. In each case, they were challenging themselves, and growing as a result.
And that’s the main point this week. It’s not the destination that really counts in the end. It’s the journey. Sure, it’s nice to get to Lincoln Trail, but what’s nicer is to know that you had what it takes to make the trip. You also get to enjoy some great scenery along the way. Kind of like life.
What kind of trip are you taking? Is it the same old thing, going down the same old road? A sage told me once that “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” So what are you getting? Maybe it’s time to try something new!