It’s the Journey That Matters
In August 2014, I got my first road bike. It took several attempts to feel confident about “clipping in” and managing all the gears. I was advised that you aren’t a real cyclist until you’ve fallen off at least 10 times. This hurt. However, once I got the hang of it – eventually – I loved being out on my bike.
This was just as well as I had signed up for a crazy challenge with a few equally crazy friends. The target we had set ourselves was to “Ride Across Britain” from Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’ Groats in Scotland, a distance of 960 miles over nine days. Fortunately, we weren’t doing this alone. The ride was fully supported with trucks moving our bags and tents each day, along with teams providing mountains of food to keep us and our 700 fellow riders fueled and hydrated for nine consecutive days. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much in any nine-day period, ever.
After a summer of training in sunny Boston, the ride took place in September 2015 back in the not-so-sunny UK. Despite a few hairy (and hilly) moments, I am proud to say that my friends and I completed the whole ride. It was an awesome and incredible experience. A feat I could never have imagined 12 months previously. Many have heard my stories; others witnessed firsthand just how long this epic challenge took to recover from! That said, it hasn’t put me off cycling or adventures. Quite the opposite.
If you have been looking for a new fitness goal this year, look no further. Here’s what’s happening in the fall: From September 16 to October 18, Beacon Health Options will be hosting The Awesome Beacon Bike Ride. This adventure will be a series of daily bike rides, ranging from 20 to 80 miles per day, to cover the route from Boston, Massachusetts, to Miami, Florida. Alongside the rides, we will be fundraising for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and Mental Health America.
Everyone is encouraged to participate
We already have Beacon participants lined up to participate and support the ride. Now we invite our clients, partners and colleagues to join us on this adventure. We welcome your involvement either as a participant or cheering our riders on at the start and finish lines. To register your interest, please complete this short questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BeaconBikeRide. If you have already completed the Bike Ride survey, there is no need to respond to this; we have your details and will be in contact about the route shortly.
Don’t be put off if it’s been years since you rode a bike. Or in fact you never learned how. What stops most people from learning new things is the thought that they are too old, won’t be good enough or are just too busy. If my experience is anything to go by, none of these are insurmountable. The Awesome Beacon Bike Ride is not a race. It is about enjoying the journey. As a health care company, encouraging healthy behaviors matters. Apart from being fun, there are scientific benefits to your participation. Hundreds of studies have shown a direct correlation between increased physical exercise leading to improved mood and improved cognitive performance. So, if you want to feel better and be better – we look forward to riding with you in the fall!
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” — Ernest Hemingway