“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
As of last Saturday night, I can add biking to my growing list of new and exciting ways I am choosing to live life active. Me and about 2,400 of my closest friends took a moonlit ride around the city of Richmond.
I signed up about six months ago to participate in The Anthem Moonlight Ride, my very first official organized bike ride. The ride is sponsored by the Richmond Sports Backers, an awesome local nonprofit. Here’s what Sports Backers is all about:
Producing quality events will always remain at our core, but transforming Greater Richmond into the nation’s most physically active community is now the top priority for the Sports Backers. It’s become our true passion, an organizational vision that every staffer is excited to stand behind.
How awesome is that?
I figured, what better way to introduce myself to the joys of biking as a new activity than a moonlight ride?
Okay, so what that I had not ridden a bike since they had sissy bars and banana seats. Oh, and should I mention that I did not (and do not as of yet) own a bike. Thank goodness I have an amazing friend who not only loaned me a bike, but as an avid cyclist himself, provided me with coaching and rode with me, making sure I didn’t get run over or do anything stupid.
Hey, Ben — thank you for all the guidance and keeping me safe!
Doing the ride was a complete blast, and I wish I had taken more photos to share. It was pretty inspiring to crest a hill and see all those twinkling lights ahead of me and many more behind me.
The ride itself was a choice of the half moon (8 miles) or the full moon (17 miles). Being one to go all out, I boldly chose the full moon ride of 17 miles.
I may have watched a little too much Star Trek as a kid.
Left Turn at Albuquerque?
At the point in the ride where the opportunity came to turn left for the 8 miles or right for the 17 miles, I took that right turn with determination, firm in my conviction that I could do what I had set out to do. Ben, my co-pilot, was encouraging and supportive as we made that right turn and proceeded onward down the 17 mile path.
In hindsight, I now know that Ben knew I was already starting to struggle as he had offered several times that we could turn around and complete the shorter route. The positive there is at least I had the good sense to not only invite a great support system, but also the common sense to listen to him. Not too much further in (and not wanting to risk being unable to make it back), I made the smart choice to take Ben’s suggestion, turn around and cross the finish line with the Half-Mooners.
Although it was a different success than what I had originally envisioned, it was no less a success. I completed 10 miles of the beautiful course and made it back to the finish line under my own power.
Small Victories Lead to Major Wins
Over the past year, I have gotten pretty hard-core about wanting to finish every new event or activity I have attempted. And to be honest, I spent a lot of the ride back to the finish line mentally beating myself up for my perceived failure to complete the ride. This accomplished absolutely nothing other than making the rest of the ride miserable for me. Again, I have to give my props to my ride partner for making me see the fact that this was not a failure. It was a successful completion of a ride, and it gave me a goal to shoot for in the next ride.
It was a great lesson for me. Small victories lead to major wins, and I am definitely now counting this in the win category. I’m also moving onward and upward to the next bike ride with a renewed purpose and an exciting and fun new activity under my ever shrinking belt.
FYI …major activity points from cycling. I’m just saying, that’s all.
After a celebratory beverage and a toast to Ben for the support and guidance, we walked our bikes out to the parking lot and came across this truck with the perfect statement painting on the side.
And that’s the truth my friends. I won’t stop ‘cause I AM NOT DONE YET!!