“Head for the Hills”

It’s a legitimate question that I would not blame anyone for asking. “Why on earth would you and Brent pay $30 each to register; stuff your bikes and all your gear in the car; drive 13 miles to Cedar Hill; and wait in a long line of cars to park in a busy shopping center… all to ride a 40-mile route (64, in Brent’s case) that goes RIGHT PAST YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?” Yeah, I know — we could get the same workout in much less time for free, just riding from home. But this was our first year to be in town for the Cedar Hill Rotary Club’s “Head For the Hills” Rally.

Anyway, it’s about more than the number of miles on the bike. First, there’s the atmosphere and excitement of a rally vs. rolling down to the end of the driveway and riding solo. You have actual people to ride with. Rest stops stocked with fresh fruit, bakery cookies, pretzels, cold water and the ever-important Porta-Johns. Blessed police officers and volunteers controlling traffic so that, in many places, you can blast right through a red light (slight pause while I shiver with glee).

And then there’s the finish. As riders arrived back at the start/finish line, a small crowd of people cheered for us and ride staff handed out completion pins. Under a large shade canopy, masses of cyclists relaxed, enjoying free soft drinks and some free food courtesy of several nearby restaurants. We congratulated each other and swapped “war stories” about the ride. This stands in sharp contrast to the end of a from-home ride when you just hang up the bike and say, “Well –guess I’d better go shower.”

Life is like that. Everything, good or bad, is better when it’s shared with others. The support and encouragement of all those volunteers along the route made the whole ride easier. Riders in a group can warn each other about traffic and road hazards. Even the steep hills and potholes seem less annoying when you can gripe about them to a fellow rider. And the victory celebration — well, all I can say is that I felt a sense of community with everyone, from the Category 1 racers to the absolute beginners who had just done their first ten-mile ride.

So don’t fall into the rut of doing life alone. Have you got some good news or achieved a big goal? Don’t just sit there — grab a few friends and go celebrate it! Or on the other hand, are you shouldering a burden of grief or frustration? All the more reason to get together with a trustworthy friend or two. I’ve learned that, while just talking it over won’t make the problem go away, I benefit from that sense of being heard. Besides, it is always a good idea to “head for the hills” and get some perspective on the situation.

This morning I’m thankful for my community of Company Girls! Stop by for coffee with us…

Thanks for reading!
Tailwinds,
Jan

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23 Responses to “Head for the Hills”

  1. joyceandnorm says:

    You are so right. It is a little easier when you are not alone. I just did the brain tumor walk on Saturday and I’m sure it would not have been the same without my walking buddies. And that is probably why I’m not so motivated to start walking or running, although that alone time is nice sometimes. =p How long did it take to ride that far? I can’t remember the last time I rode a bike. Yikes! Hehe Have a great weekend.

    Like

    • Jan says:

      Hi, Joyce,
      I enjoyed your great photos from the walk. The ride took a little over three hours. Thanks for taking time to comment!

      Like

  2. Brent Johnson says:

    That’s why I like group rides. Time to ride with old friends and meet new ones.

    Like

    • Curt Palmer says:

      And, whats more fun than 170 bpm heart rate and lactic acid flowing through your screaming quads 🙂

      Like

    • Jan says:

      Yes, it’s always fun to meet other riders. You know you have at least something in common…
      even with the Hammerheads who have a 170 bpm pulse and lactic acid issues!

      Like

  3. Ima Nutcase says:

    This was nice and encouraging. I liked the analogy of the bike riding-very good and so true about life. Thanks for the reminder, and I’m glad you had fun on your bike ride.

    Like

    • Jan says:

      Hey, “Ima,” thanks for the comment. It really was a lot of fun. BTW, I have your blog playlist open as we speak. Nice choices!

      Like

  4. Lea says:

    Absolutely! as my Hubby always says, “it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey.” How true! Sounds like it was a very special time and thanks for sharing it with us.

    Happy weekend to you!

    Like

  5. Judy P says:

    Thanks for writing such a great article on the bike rally! You are so right – better to share life with others. And thank you and Brent for participating. 100% of the proceeds go to charity, both locally and regionally. Rotary even offers matching grants on some of the donations. Some of our charities are the Cedar Hill Food Pantry, Bridges Safe House and Coats for Kids (we buy coats for school kids that come to school without a coat – last winter, over 300 coats were handed out) So – thank you for your support!! It is appreciated. Let’s ride soon!

    Like

    • Jan says:

      Hi, Judy! Those sound like super charities to support; I was not even aware of which ones they were. Maybe you & Mike can get down to Tour d’Italia this June? (See my post “Bedraggled.”)

      Like

  6. Jeannine or Grandma Johnson says:

    Jan,
    I’m so proud of you
    I liked the way you look at life and your group of biking friends.
    That is how I feel about all my friends the sharing is so much
    a part of life and you can enjoy a good laugh about the fun and
    not so fun things we do
    Love and God bless Grandma Johnson

    Like

  7. Yes, I totally get this. I recently ran a half-marathon and several who were not participating said the same things. “Why are paying someone to run 13.1 miles?” You described it so well! But then you made the analogy to one of my favorite things being with people, meeting new people, sharing the experience, being heard. All very wonderful things!

    Like

  8. Steve Bato says:

    Jan,

    So… that was YOU and your thousand friends that kept my wife and daughters (we live in Cedar Hill) locked in the car, watching all the bicycles go by as my girls yearned for their chance to get through the intersection and on the highway.

    I greatly appreciated your explanation of your involvement. What was a momentary inconvenience to my girls, was of vast import to so many others: those on the bicycles, those that received the benefits of the charity, and those that rooted for their friends.

    I also was blessed by the opportunity to speak with you briefly Tuesday night. I agree… life lived with others is much richer than life lived alone.

    Keep up the great writing, and sharing your life with us.

    Like

    • Jan says:

      Aw, thank you for your patience, even if it took you this long to achieve! Were you trying to get on Hwy 67? That was the worst part because we had just started and were still in a bunch. A long, long bunch…
      I enjoyed visiting with you, as well, Steve. You know I admire your work!

      Like

  9. Katharine says:

    Perspective is a valuable thing, and that much better when you find it with the help of friends. Sounds like you had a great ride!
    Blessings!

    Like

  10. Zoanna says:

    So glad I read this. Very timely. Right now I am really “riding hills” with the good and bad in life. Your post reminds me to talk it out w/ someone who can give me perspective.

    Like

    • Jan says:

      Thank you for the encouragement. I’m there in the hills with you, which may be what brought the analogy to my mind in the first place. Glad you had such a sweet Mother’s Day!

      Like

  11. charlywalker says:

    I need to get off my stationary bike…..
    great read!

    Like

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