Adding to Your Legacy

By January 11, 2020 January 24th, 2020 Cycling Club News
We talk of cycling as some singular coherent thing. We have a bike – a pretty expensive bike, maybe two (or if suffering from N+1 Disease, several) –  we ride our bikes. The distances and speed vary as well as terrain, but we are, for the sake of definition, cyclists. But within that broad definition is almost impossible variation, diversity and complexity – and conformity.  We ride long, we ride short. We ride slow, we ride fast. Some of us race, most of us don’t. Some race crits, others do fondos. We hate to climb, we love to climb. We do road, we’re now into gravel.

Et cetera, ad nauseum, and add to that the variations in between and the endless combinations of crossover interests.

What motivates us? Is it the fact we’re a part of a healthy lifestyle that sets us apart?  Perhaps. Is it pretty satisfying to tell lay people how many miles I rode and see that look of incredulity on their faces.  It demands a level of fitness, and encourages goal setting. It challenges us, makes us hurt and suffer, but is also incredibly exhilarating when we descend that mountain or when riding in a group at 25 MPH. We can ride solo and relish the opportunity to be by ourselves sometimes and decompress, to connect with the outside by experiencing the sights and the wind in our faces, or we can feel the human connection from being a part of a group ride.

Being part of a group allows us to share the pain, and the excitement, the sights, the mishaps, the accomplishments. We take pictures and pose with each other to capture those moments. We post them on social media to broadcast and share them, and in turn, tell the world who we are. If your computer battery died and you didn’t record your ride to Strava, it didn’t happen. There is an empty blank spot in your personal narrative, a bad sector of missing data in the hard drive of your life. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, and illustrates just how much we rely on documenting what we do to preserve a permanent record of it.

The sum total of our lives is a collection of experiences – moments of varying significance. Many of those moments mean a lot to us, less to others, but we want to share them, preserve them in our memories as traces of our own small, quiet legacy.

In one of my favorite scenes from any movie, the protagonist, just before dying, put into words a near perfect expression of how we cling to life and its importance to us, and how we want to be remembered.

 “All those moments would be lost, in time, like tears in rain.”  (extra points if you know the movie and the actor. Hint…he recently passed away.)

We don’t want those moments to be lost. Those hard rides, that day we climbed to the lifts at GMR for the first time, or rode together with friends and teammates on that hard gran fondo – collectively they form our personal legacy. They say to the world, “I was here on this planet for a short time and I did something. Hopefully somebody remembers.”

Today’s the day to add to your legacy.