A Man, His Bike and Something to Prove
I had the honor to meet and become friends with a very special couple while I was in Houston Texas several years ago. Bernie and Donalda were from Calgary Alberta in Canada and had come to Texas to work with a local oil company. Bernie is a very intelligent and witty type of person and Donalda has the loving care that only a gentle spirit can have. One night we spent time watching the sun go do as we all enjoyed the hot tub at the oasis when Bernie started to tell his “biking story”. I learned lessons about life, business and sales; but mostly about what it takes to succeed!
It seems a few years before when Bernie was close to 50 he decided to see “what he was made of.” He got a vision in his mind of riding his peddle bike into the Ocean. Now this was not just about taking your bike to the beach, this was a road trip from Calgary over the Rocky Mountains through some of the toughest highway and city conditions to end up some 660 miles or 1100 kilometers away. I personally know how difficult this terrain is having driven my motor home over the mountain pass a few years ago and blowing the transmission. This is tough terrain!
The story has many lessons in it and all of them peeked my attention. Everything from having a used 10 speed bicycle loaded with a portable radio, leather saddlebags and a seat that was too narrow for any human to sit on, to struggling through the delirium due to de-hydration. There was an almost fatal crash as he was going up a mountain pass when a station wagon with wide mirrors forced him to dive for safety.
The one part of the story that sits close to my heart was of the training he did to get ready for this event. He began training for this event only a few months before he was going to do it. He first started on some hills on the west side of Calgary. After cycling to a local small town he turned around to come back. The hill was so step that it proved too much for him and Donalda picked him up in their car to take him home. I believe he even tried it again to have the same results. Bennie next tried to bike his way to Banff about 60 miles away through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. He took a Friend along and set up a contingency plan to have Donalda pick him up just in case he wasn’t able to continue. And once again he was unable to make it up the long climb up the foothills and had to wait for his ride to come. Having booked his holidays in advance the time quickly came for him to give it his all and chase this dream. He loaded up his 10-speed bike and gave Donalda a hug. Bernie told her that she wouldn’t be able to find him on the road and she didn’t have to come to pick him up. He through away his safety net, he was on his own!
Listen to the rest of the story to see how things turned out and the wisdom of success that was uncovered!