I learned a lot. Not only about myself, but about the country, bicycling, people, community, and on and on. Over the next few weeks I plan on doing some resting and let these lessons soak in so they become automatic responses when similar situations arise again.
Many of the lessons I’m about to discuss may sound familiar…you may say I’ve heard that before…I’ve heard them too. But there was something so in my face, due to the different circumstances that I experienced, it made these lessons come alive…they jumped right off the paper as they so say.
The first lesson I learned is about the power of decision. We’re faced with decisions every day. Simple decisions like when are you going to wake up today, what am I going to eat, what am I going to wear and so forth. I’ve come to learn from my experience that these lessons have a powerful rippling effect that can come crashing onto the shore. I believe that we are numbed by the quantity of decisions or perceived decisions that we face every day that we become blind to the adverse affect of these decisions causing us to slam into life’s walls. For me it became an issue of decide or pay a consequence.
The second lesson came about on my first day, I decided to ignore a sign that warned of a seasonal road. I know I saw it, I even asked myself what it could have meant but because I literally had my head in the clouds, I ignored it. Don’t ignore signs!! Not to soon in the future my decision cost me. I ended up getting stuck in some back roads around Lake Allegan all the while being bombarded by every single bug in Michigan. It sucked royally and this was day one. I was hoping the problems wouldn’t have come altogether…but this was one example of one of many.
Something as simple as waking up soon became another issue. Lesson three was due to the time of year I was touring, sunlight started to become limited. Biking in the dark is a stone cold stupid ass idea as I came to discover. In the beginning I was cavalier about it but I quickly realized, as much as I may like to think, cars are bigger and tougher than I am…especially on a bike. I learned you have to maximize the amount of time you have to work with. I had to be in the road by sunrise and be at my destination by sunset or things were only going to become difficult. I’m not fast on the bike. I’d say I was averaging 10mph…and at times it was less than that. So when travel days would come up in which I had to go 80 plus miles to get to my destination, I had to move…no if’s and’s or but’s.