Training Wheel Manifesto
Your first bike race as an adult is the equivalent to having taken training wheels off as a child.
You knew the first time you rode your bike with training wheels on that your life was going to change when those wheels came off.
You also wanted to delay that day for as long as possible. After all, what could be more wonderful than the safety and stability of your colorful bike with it's solid, secure training wheels?
Your ignorance, of course, could be forgiven. As they say, you didn't know what you didn't know.
Oh sure, you loved every minute of riding your little bike even though it wouldn't lean to turn. You still got to experience the thrill of wind in your hair and self propelled power. But as is every thrill in life, the more of it you experience the more of it you need to keep the experience going.
So you pushed the pace.
You attempted to lean into the turns, only to find how unstable that made your little machine.
There were falls. There were scrapes and bruises. But somehow, despite the youthful tears and frustration, you continued.
And you looked with envy and admiration at your peers who had long since removed their training wheels...
Annoyed at being held back by that which originally enabled your new freedom…
You may not remember the day those training wheels came off. You may not remember your first ride without them. In fact, you probably have forgotten all about how much you dreaded having to learn to balance on your own.
Because eventually, one magic moment, balance and inertia and mass and velocity all came together in a delicious harmony, and you catapulted into a level of exhilaration that your small mind and body had never before known.
Fresh joys have a way of acting like bleach on previous frustrations.
So here you are.
An adult with a bike.
It's probably a very nice bike. And if you have not allowed the myriad and mundane pressures of grown-up life to keep you from being the sort of person who prefers to push limits, then you enjoy riding that very nice bike rather quickly.
You sprint when the traffic light ahead of you turns yellow. You tuck in behind the random rider that you find ahead of you on the road and tuck into their draft. Prior to a turn, you swing out wide and then dive into the apex only to drift out wide as you exit, maintaining your speed.
And you love it.
It's time to untemper your unlost youth. It's time to remember what it felt like to push the pace. It's time you experienced the discomfort of taking off the training wheels for the second time.
You need a little emotional bleach, so you can experience something new. Something you couldn't possibly know — unless you took the trainers off.
Because a new level of joy, discovery, and exhilaration awaits you.
You need to prepare for and enter a race.
It will be a shock to the system. It will demand a level of intensity that you have never before known. But just like that exhilaration that you experienced once you found yourself perfectly balanced and leaning into your first unsupported turn, racing will unlock new sensations and insights you'd never experience otherwise.
Despite all the parallels, you are no longer that little tyke. You understand that preparation and research is essential. The experience may be as intense as feeling like your trusted supports have vanished from beneath you. But if you understand that development and evolution and personal growth…and a new level of freedom…awaits on the other side of that shock, it will be worth the investment of time.
Einstein proved mathematically that if you go fast enough, you can travel back in time.
Your bicycle is a time machine.
It's time…again…that you learned to go fast.