Dave Moulton

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Everything I need to know about life I can learn from my bicycle

  • Life is a journey. A bike ride if you like and the joy is in the ride, not the destination.


Each morning I awake is like starting out on a fresh ride, I have a rough idea of what is in store for me on today’s ride.

However, when I actually get out on the road, I know there will be variables. Weather, traffic, mechanical problems, maybe a flat tire.

I do not set out expecting the worst, but I should not be surprised when little setbacks occur. Life is a stream of surprises. The things we like we call "Natural," what we dislike we call "Accidental." In reality it is all natural, all part of life's journey.

I may be riding in rush hour traffic, some are driving in an orderly manner, and others are in a hurry, driving erratically, cutting in front of people. Add to this, hoards of pedestrians on the sidewalk and crossing the street.

It all seems like chaos, when in fact everyone has a destination; they all have individual plans and know where they are going. Life too appears chaotic, but beneath the surface it is not.

The road I travel is the one I choose, although I may need to steer a course around a few obstacles. I have to remind myself, every moment is as it should be.

  • Attitude is like a bicycle. A good one will make the ride easier and more pleasurable.

When riding my bike it is best that I simply to pay attention observe what is happening and react to situations as they happen. In life bad things happen, there is crime, the economy, various mishaps and misfortunes.

There is no point in dwelling on the negative, because it will only spoil the enjoyment of my ride. It is best that I just ride my bike, observe what is happening, and deal with the problems as they occur.

Like a flat tire, it is not very pleasant at the moment I am dealing with it, however, once fixed I am back enjoying the ride again. Expect the best, but deal with the less than perfect situation as it happens.

  • Running a business is like a bike race. Or for that matter dealing with a day to day household budget.

My level of fitness is the experience and knowledge I have accumulated over the years. Mistakes I made in the past are like those hard training miles I put in.

The amount of money I have in the bank, or as income, is like the amount of energy I have. Unless I use it wisely I will not last the distance. If I have no plan and I chase every breakaway that goes up the road my energy (Money.) will soon run out.

Riding along in the pack is like being financially comfortable, I am conserving my energy and I am not being wasteful. However, if I want to get ahead I will have expend some of my energy.

Waiting for the right break and seeing that there are other good riders there, is like waiting for the right business opportunity at the right moment.

I make a big effort; spend some of my energy. I may have team members who will help me. These are like valued employees or good friends. If I am successful I will come out ahead and will get my reward.

If I fail I may get caught by the pack and I am at least no worse off than I was before. On the other hand, I may have expended so much energy that I get dropped by the pack and I am now playing catch up.

I am now in debt and the only way to catch up is to put in a super human effort. If I don’t, out here riding alone I am spending more energy than when I was in the pack, just to stay level and possibly falling further behind in spite of it.

The speed, at which I catch up, depends on the effort I put in and whether I have people who drop back to help me catch up.

However, unlike a bike race life is ongoing and the effort I put in while I was “Off the back,” was good training for the future.

I’m sure there are plenty more analogies of life and my bike; they will have to wait for another day as I think of them. In the mean time, perhaps you can expand on mine, or think of new ones.


Reader Comments (3)

Very interesting and great analogies for anyone who has been on a bike.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

Cycling and Life Falsehoods:
(Life in parentheses)
A new bike will make me faster (making more money will make my life better)
This training regime will make me a better rider (self help gurus really work)
I need biofeedback to monitor myself (I need to follow horoscopes)
I can become as fast as the pros, if I really wanted (I can act as well as Al Pacino if I tried)
The fastest pros don’t take performance enhancers (I can become a billionaire on my own)
Perhaps these could be called "Lessons Learned from Cycling"?

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Being struck by a car is like being laid off. You may be blindsided or you may have seen signs and taken action to lessen the impact. The result is the same, it hurts and you may get back on the bike one day. Here's to hope that you too are that fortunate!

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJim
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