This is a place to share some miscellaneous stories from the bike that don’t merit an entire blog page. The first story is perhaps the very best I have ever experienced- the goodness of people no matter where you are in the world.
Total Taiwan Teamwork
In September 2018, toward the end of a business trip in Taiwan, I joined several of my American and Taiwanese co-workers on a big group ride to scenic Sun Moon Lake. As we headed back, I was slowing everyone else down, so reluctantly they agreed to split up and went ahead without me. After hours of riding and climbing in the mountains, I developed the worst leg cramps I have ever experienced. Perhaps an hour after I split from the group, I simply could not turn the pedals and literally writhed in pain on the side of the road. I found a busy street corner, and began looking for a taxi to get back to the hotel- which was perhaps 10 miles away at this point. Then a lady came over and asked if I was hurt. She ended up staying with me for at least 20 minutes, first tried to flag a taxi down, and then called one that could fit my bike. Next, 2 policemen came by, stretched my legs and waited until the taxi arrived to be sure I was ok. No one spoke much English but knew enough to communicate.
If that’s not enough, an older lady came out of the small shop I was in front of and invited me into her home to rest in a chair! There are just amazing people in Taiwan! I thanked them all as best I could, but what a cool experience that resulted! This is why I never worry about doing long crazy rides. No matter where you are, there are good people everywhere.
Now I just need to work on being more attune to others so I can pay these acts of kindness forward!
Learnings from riding across America
Even though I didn’t visit any new states as I rode across the United States, I learned and saw a lot. Sights and stories are in the blog posts. Here are my top 6 “lesson learned”:
Cycling- and life- philosophies:
- Never give up!
- It doesn’t get harder, you just go slower.
- There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad attire.
- Just keep pedaling!
- There’s no such thing as can’t- only won’t.
- If I can do it: anyone can.
#5 is the most significant, and goes hand in hand with #6. One of my Warmshowers’ hosts- Kenny Smith- related a story to me about a 16 day rafting trip he took with his wife Patsy. Kenny told me “you won’t be the same person after this trip”.
I looked at him and didn’t really understand.
Kenny went on that “you’ll face many different conditions, adversity and fatigue and you’ll get through them all. You will discover that you can overcome anything”. I thought a lot about Kenny’s comments the rest of the ride. He was absolutely right. I’ve always been a “can do” type person, and consider finding ways around obstacles as one of my strengths. But the ride took it to an entirely other level. I never feel powerless, and having overcome the challenge of riding across the USA, I know that there is virtually nothing I can’t do. It’s all a decision on whether I want to badly enough. The same goes for you!