Remember this? Just a little over two short months ago we were pedaling our way across our great state and taking advantage of the warm hospitality of our host towns as we took over courthouse lawns and fairgrounds. What a week! What an adventure! What an exhausting trip! What next?!
It’s not uncommon for people to experience a case of the blues after completing something like Oklahoma FreeWheel. Most would have been planning, training, thinking, dreaming, obsessing over this adventure for as long as a year (or more). Immediately after the tour you’re tired, but proud of yourself, and you regale your family and friends with tales and pictures of your great accomplishment. But there comes a point when you’ve run out of people to tell your stories to, and you realize how empty life can feel when you don’t have the next BIG THING to look forward to. So, I will ask the question again… what next?
Embark on another adventure
There are so many rides and events out there, it is hard to count. If you managed to complete FreeWheel, then you are more than capable of participating in a local century or another bicycle tour. Two rides I can think of off the top of my head that are coming up very soon are the Dam Jam and the MS 150. Both are great rides that are very well organized–I hope to see you out there!
If you are interested in doing another bicycle tour (in additional to OK FreeWheel 2013, of course!), check out the Bicycle Tour Network. You can search for tours based on location and date, and as you will see there are a lot of great opportunities out there for you to explore other parts of the country by bike.
Build on your experience
Whether FreeWheel 2012 was your first or 31st FreeWheel, I’m sure there were lessons you learned during that week. Why don’t you use this time to apply that experience to improving your next FreeWheel? The following 3 points are the key things that I always look at after completing any sort of event.
1. How was my fitness? You might have noticed during FreeWheel that Oklahoma has a few hills. Throw in some heat and wind, and you can have quite a challenging ride. How were you able to handle those difficulties? If you are someone that really struggles riding up hills or into the wind, take this time to start building strength so that you are more physically able to complete the ride in an enjoyable manner. After the age of 30 most people start losing muscle mass, and this really increases once you hit 40. Try doing some strength training just once or twice a week and you will start noticing some huge benefits.
2. How was my equipment? This is a pretty easy issue to address. If your tent leaked, if your shoes caused you pain, if your bike shorts were see-through, maybe it’s time for you to upgrade. Our sponsor bike shops (Tom’s Bicycles, T-Town Bicycles, Sun and Ski, Lee’s Bicycles) all have the best equipment and expertise to help you have the most enjoyable experience possible at your next FreeWheel. This is also a great time to invest in a bike tune-up or overhaul to ensure that your steed is healthy and ready for your next trip together.
3. How was my attitude? Any endurance activity can leave the most positive of us in a grumpy mood when we are hot, tired, and dirty. In those moments, it can be hard to appreciate the bigger picture of what bicycle touring is all about. If you found yourself focusing on the negative throughout the week, maybe it is time to think about what you can do in the future to better appreciate the scope of your grand adventure. Trust me, letting go of the small stuff (and most of it is small stuff) will help you have a much, much better time.
Because it’s about the journey, not the destination, right?
Please let us know what events you are participating in by commenting on this post. As for myself, my next event is in the triathlon world and is this weekend–you can check it out here. Wish me luck!