July 18, 2016
Cold, rainy and surprisingly a blast!
Another year in the books. Climbing the stairs of the Tripsite HQ (home-office) in Springville, Pa after participating in the Five Boro Bike Tour, I could not help but look at the old Five Boro Bike Tour jersey's on the wall and think "Seriously? We (Tripsite) have been participating in this event for more than a decade and it has never rained." Well, this year it rained.
Let me paint you a picture. The Five Boro Bike Tour is a biking event that winds through all five of New York City's boroughs, attracting 32,000 biking enthusiasts, old, young, in-shape, not-so-in-shape, and some who just said, "screw it, why not". Oh and the tour is around 42 miles, but when it's all said and done, it's probably around 50 miles.
Now picture this: it's cloudy, rainy, windy, and frigid. I'm talking 42 degrees and soaked in ice cold rain! I don't know if you have ever ridden a bike in the rain, but it's quite miserable and can be downright dangerous!
However, in spite of the weather, we truly had a great time. It might have been the fact that we had the largest number of Tripsite employees, friends and family participate. Some who traveled as far our satellite offices in Montana and California.
Or maybe it was the adrenaline of riding through The Big Apple with 30,000+ other riders, who are all going at their own pace and (despite the weather) still greet passer-byers with an "on your left/right" often followed by a friendly "hello".
Maybe it was the event staff shouting "you can do it" and "almost there", some dancing, smiling, or singing.
Whatever the reason, we all finished the tour in varying degrees of dishevelment. Although I'm pretty sure I was approaching a state of hypothermia, when I saw that finish line I couldn't help but smile.
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow."Thomas Paine once said...
Let me tell you from experience, that this quote is true and it's very much a part of what makes biking and traveling so rewarding. Whether "the struggle" is missing a turn on a 20 km bike ride through the countryside of Holland and "the triumph" is finally getting back to the barge to enjoy a post-ride pint, or if it's a cold 42-mile bike tour in the rain with the reward of a comforting hot shower, it's all worth it.