Just Keep Pedaling: Rain, Hail & Cold

Just keep pedaling . . . wise words I repeated to myself as the rain, hail and cold beat down on my husband, Wally, and me as we rode our racing tandem bicycle in a 60 mile race in Northern California this past weekend.  With 250 other bicycles (including many other racing tandems) we were riding in the beautiful ranching community of Indian Valley close to Lake Almanor. 

“Who’s idea was this anyway?!”  Well, I guess in all honesty it was mine.  It sounded good on paper and we had planned for months to do this . . . but who would have known that we’d have rain, sleet & snow on Memorial Day weekend.  But there we were with nothing to do but keep on pedaling.  

What Makes for Success

So as the miles swept by under my pedals (we average about 16 miles an hour) I got to thinking about what makes for success on a challenge such as this.  I came up with five ideas:

  • Set the vision of finishing (with glass of wine & hot bath)
  • Concentrate on the rhythm (I close my eyes but Wally keeps his eyes open)
  • Be in the moment (listen to the sounds around me & relax in the movement of the tandem)
  • Stay in sync with the cues Wally is giving me for the steep uphills & fast downhills
  • Trust in the bike, the front rider (has to be a strong rider) and my own ability

And we were done . . . 5 hours later with frozen feet and “screaming” quads we pedaled into Greenville High School to check in and say thank you to the volunteers who fed and encouraged us all along the way.  And it was more fun to send the IPhone pictures to those college kids who think Mom & Dad are too old to barely move.  A great adventure and some wonderful reminders that it really is well worth it to just “keep pedaling”.

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