This past weekend I rode 200 miles for Pelotonia, a fund-raising organization that supports the cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. This was my 3rdyear, and furthest distance traveled, for a great cause.
There’s a lot of training inherent in preparing for back-to-back century rides, but when you’re in the thick of it (particularly in hot and humid weather), the value of a team around you becomes really evident. I was lucky – I train with stronger riders, and their strength really came out this weekend. My average speed on both days was higher because all of us shared the burden of riding together. We all took pulls – the stronger riders pulled us faster and further, but we all worked together so everyone had recovery time while others pulled.
On both days I eventually fell back, and then I had to dig deep to maintain forward progress. The first day I caught back up, and I look forward to locating the finish line photo with other members of the group with whom I spent most of the day. The latter part of the second day was really beyond my training; at points I felt lucky just to keep moving against a headwind that felt tortuously strong. And while I had separated from the people I knew, at key points during the day complete strangers offered that I “jump on” the peloton they were leading at the moment. I even found the strength to lead some of them in rotation, as gratitude in action for their appearance and efforts, and in recognition that it’s simply what we cyclists do.
What I take from this is a great reminder that while we can do on our own, we do better with others around us. I’m happy to be able to support other entrepreneurs and small business owners because I have no doubt that, should the need arise, they’ll be there to support myself or others in return. It’s what we do.