If I sit there and be completely truthful, there is one thing that my blogging and cycling have in common. I do them both because I enjoy it. Cycling gets me outside, exercise, and teleports me back to that kid who learned to ride 45 years ago or so (DAMN that is a long time ago!)
Blogging is just fun. I guess I just like to tell stories. I know the blog itself says I have over 450 followers (some maybe robots though) and lotsa people on Facebook read it as well (Thanks Mom!) but, with all that, I do it because I enjoy it, if it ever becomes a chore, I will stop.
But with both cycling and blogging, I am regularly surprised with comments I get in real life….
When it comes to the blog, I am always caught off guard when someone at work comes up to me and talks about the post they read. These are busy people, and for them to take time to read what I write means a lot.
Last week, though, the surprises come from the cycling side of life.
I am not the only cycle commuter at the Mighty P, nor the one who has done it the longest
However, somehow I have become the defacto ‘bike dude’ for the friends I have and people I work with. It always makes me smile when it happens, as I know I am no expert. But shoot, Mighty Manda and Auburn Liz still sometimes call me Sensei!
This week, though, the compliments have just kept coming!
On Monday, I was riding an “after halfathon” recovery ride with Rob and Kim. (OK Kim was recovering from a great run! Rob and I were just along for the coffee)
As we rode along, Rob, who will be riding the Oregon coast with me this year
Told me that he and Kim really appreciated the way I rode with them.
We three had all ridden together in Santa Rosa last summer. The two of them are new to the ride. I guess, without knowing it, I kinda looked out for both of them without being a jerk or show off about it. On one hill, I noticed Rob had stopped for a bike issue. I caught up to Kim, and said something like. “Ok you got this hill, hang on top and I am going to see what’s up with Rob’s bike.” Then I moseyed down to him.
His chain had slipped, and by the time I got there he was ready to roll, but he appreciated the concern. Monday he said, “You are the only experienced rider I would do the coast with, some would be jack asses, you aren’t.” Then he bought the coffee!
Mid week, my buddy Steve (second from the left), who started me on the quest to climb Mr Rainier 20 years ago,
Stopped me in the hallway to tell me I was inspiring him to ride. He took up cycling last year, and completed his first century. He is also a strong contributor to my “Bike Everywhere” Challenge team at work. He felt a bit wobbly on his bike this week, as he hadn’t ridden much, but knowing the challenge was coming up, and that I had kept riding all year, so he pushed through it!
This makes me feel doubly good, as I always kinda figured I let him down not ever making it to the summit. He NEVER did anything to make me feel that way, it all came from me.
Then, yesterday, I get an email from John, another member of the team. He is off to NYC for his mom’s 90th birthday, the first week of May, so he wanted to let me know he’d be “slow in starting this month’s challenge.” He was number 1 last year with the number of trips, and has always told me I helped get him started as a summer bike commuter. This year he has already done so 10 times in April!
I have no expectations on anyone for the bike team, I just want people to ride and have fun, but he wanted to assure he would “Try to make up for the missed week!” He also likes to greet me at times as Captain, my Captain, and yes my chest puffs out a bit when he does!
Finally, I had a co-worker reach out to me for help. He has a class of some kind, and the project they have is “How to buy a bike” He has asked me to let him interview me. Inside I am thinking “DUDE! I just ride the bike, I am SO not the expert!” But I guess if you ask around the Mighty P, there is a different opinion. So Tuesday I will let him know what I know.
So this week I learned 1) I inspire people, 2) I am not an ass to new riders, 3) I am not doing too bad a job at team captain, and finally 4) People think I know a WHOLE lot more than I do!
All in all a good week, but I am still surprised. I guess if I ever get used to it, I better keep on eye out for #2 above, I really don’t want to be a jerk to new riders, I think everyone should ride!
Like the wind!