Throw yourself into the deep end

I went on a 70m bike ride today, and a pretty hilly one I had no reason to believe I’d be able to complete. I did, and for the most part, I hung with the five other fastest riders out of the group ride, which was cool.

I’m in a lot of pain now.

One of the things I’ve done to great success in my Expedia career is to throw myself at the hardest thing I didn’t think I could do, and then work my way out of it. I take on projects I don’t think I’m quite technical enough for, I sign on for workloads I don’t think are rational… and then I have to struggle to complete them, but I’m smarter and better for having done them.

I’m starting to do that with my bike riding now: I’m picking off goals I don’t think I’m quite ready for, and if I fail, I’ve learned a lot. Like the Mercer Loop — I can get from Expedia World HQ across the water, around the loop, and back in just an hour and change, but I hadn’t really challenged myself on the loop itself, so I tried to match a time my friend Joel (who kicks my ass at climbs) and his former boss (a competitive biker) put up when they were trying to grind each other down. I was a minute off (on a 17.4 mile loop). And I think I can get that down even further.

The result of all this is that I looked at riding RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, one of the hardest rides in the northwest) with some fear and doubt, and now I think if I get a ticket, I can absolutely do it — and I’m thinking about running REDSPOKE (Redmond-Spokane) this year. I don’t know when I’m going to fail, but it’s going to be an interesting riding season.