The Thrill Of Passing The Slow Guy

RR 3D CoverI’m faster than I used to be.

If you’ve followed along for a while you’ll know my handcycling has been a long process. In my book RICH’S RIDE there’s a chapter titled Exordio Somnii (The Beginning Of The Dream) that describes the 2-block, 30-minute ride that started this whole thing. (read excerpt here)

Yeah–2 blocks in 30 minutes in 1999. And things didn’t exactly improve at light speed. When I did the 1500-mile Mississippi River ride in 2011 I still averaged around 9 mph. On the Fort Collins trails I rarely passed another cyclist, and really fast runners passed me.

These days my rides often average in excess of 12 mph. I often pass slower cyclists, and I’m never passed by a runner. I’m faster than I used to be.

I thought about that as I cruised along a trail yesterday. Honestly, it’s a bit of an ego boost to  yell “Passing” as I crank past other riders. I sort of enjoy it when one of the passed riders says, “Did you see that? He’s riding faster than us with his arms!”

As I said, it’s a bit of an ego boost as long as I chuckle at it. Passing other riders, or not, doesn’t matter.

What matters is my pace relative to my ability and my vision and goals.

Comparison is a trap.

The speed of the other riders on the trail is a distraction. Five years ago I was discouraged and tempted to give up because they were faster. Now I get self-satisfied because I can pass them. You see how silly that is, right?

We’re not competing. Their speed has nothing to do with my workout.

You and I have dreams, visions, goals. The other folks on the trail are going to their own destination at their own speed.

Pass the slow guy and we figure we’re making great progress. Getting passed by an elite rider makes us think we’re falling behind. Both are illusions…and distractions.

I’m faster than I used to be. Getting better, enjoying the journey. That’s what matters.

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