My Support Team on Tri State Trek

I’ve got one of our Twitter friends @bikerly to thank for this post.  He, along with @lovingthebike and @egggman (yep, 3) Tweeted at the end of July about a #secretevilplan, and that’s how #bikeschool was born.  What is this #secretevilplan, you ask? It’s…

“Short stories of (real human) lessons learned by bike. Blogged or Twittered using the hashtag #bikeschool – a socio/educational revolution.” Tweeted by @bikerly

In an attempt to do our small part to make #bikeschool into this “socio/educational revolution,”  I would like to share our lessons learned on the bike…

As a more recent “regular cyclist,” I am learning more and more about the incredible cycling community that extends far beyond those people who simply ride bikes on a regular basis.  I’ve discovered the cycling community to be a self-sustaining global entity, with its own pulse and nourishment and enthusiasm and drive and patience and resilience that stems from within itself.  It’s miraculous to encounter this type of deep, inherent passion in such an enormous (and rapidly growing) international community.

I remember the first time I ever rode a bike with two wheels.  We lived on a relatively steep hill in Memphis, TN, and it was a gorgeous day.  My dad removed my training wheels and stuck me in the street to try out my new bike.  My mom’s black Acura was parked on the street, and as I was going down the hill, I froze and forgot how to use my foot breaks.  I ran straight into the side of my mom’s new Acura and left a white stripe down the entire driver’s side of her car.

Almost twenty years later and with two centuries under my belt, I look back on that day and laugh.  I’ve come a long way in my personal cycling “career” (I don’t like that word because it doesn’t conjure the totally satisfactory and free feeling that cycling brings, so maybe I’ll change it to “cycling experience” or, even more broad, “cycling life”) yeah, my cycling life and have discovered so much on the journey that it’s hard to choose one thing I’ve learned.

If I had to choose the most influential lesson I’ve learned on the bike, it’s community.  Comradery.  A feeling of “togetherness.”  I get to talk to people all over the world about bikes and about cycling and the different ways they contribute to and discover the world on their bikes.  It’s become such a montage of inspiring images and stories and faces in my head that it’s hard to keep straight, but there is one recurring theme in nearly every person I talk to, read about, or connect with-they are all part of the cycling COMMUNITY and support each other as such.  This is amazing to me.  So many people from so many places and so many backgrounds.  It seems to me that borders, race, nationality, age, gender, occupation-things that cause to much tension in the world-don’t matter as much while on a bike saddle.

I realized this first hand on the Tri State Trek when I was struggling so much during the last third of my second century.  It was nearly 120 degrees on the asphalt and my body wasn’t used to such exertion in that type of heat, so I found it nearly impossible to eat.  Needless to say, I was hurting pretty badly, and it was obvious.   People that didn’t even know who I was came up behind me and put their hand on my back and helped me keep going and everyone cheered and rang their cowbells as I crossed the finish line, tired and shaking.   We were all so connected-immediately friends-just because we had our bikes.

I’m so excited to delve further into this global community and see where it takes me.  Like Alice going down the rabbit hole, I have no idea what is in store for me, but the prospects are looking pretty darn good.

Want to read more from #bikeschool?  Check out the “best of bike school” for some truly incredible stories (and some great writing!)

What’s a lesson you’ve learned while on the bike?  Comment here with the #bikeschool to further the global revolution towards biking.

Stay connected, cyclists! And ride safe!

^Taylor @ Montague Bikes

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