Sunset in Murten Switzerland

I have traveled the world (almost) thanks to the bicycle.  I haven’t self locomoted all of these places but the Bike Biz has taken me there to work.  After a few trips I figured out that I should stay a few extra days and visit the amazing places that I found myself in. 

I find myself on this thought process because this morning I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Mike Dion.  Mike is producer of Ride the Divide.  This an inspiring film that I am missing right now.  The movie is being shown at the Acme Screening Room in Lambertville tonight December 3rd and Saturday December 4th. 

The conversation was particularly interesting because it wasn’t the typical bike-dork speak.  We didn’t talk about gears and components but about passion.   The passion to explore this big blue marble and to see a chunk of it from the saddle of a bicycle.  To everyone once in a while just STOP.

If you are not familiar with the Ride the Divide you should be. Both the movie and the ride itself.  The race goes from Canada to Mexico via the Continental Divide.  I expressed to Mike that I found it essential to just stop every once in a while and take in the sights if you are so moved.  He said that there have been several people so moved by the scenery along the way that they would just stop racing and explore so that they could take in the wonderment. 

In order to be competitive in the Ride the Divide you have to ride a metric ton of days in a row that average over 100 offroad miles.  This is not for the week of quad.  Mike said that he has known people to just stop and take a week or more to enjoy.  Both the racing and the stopping to appreciate I find admirable.  The reason to do something of this magnitude, hell to do just about anything is to enjoy it.  If you are enjoying a an offroad century or more a day do it.  If you want to stop and see Yellowstone do it. 

This breakfast really got me thinking.  What do I want to do?  I was there with LRHG and LRHG is starting a new exciting venture.  I applaud this.  Passion is driving these decisions.   What is your passion?  Hell for that matter what is mine? 

I know my passion is the bicycle.  As a twenty year old I thought that if I worked hard I could be pack fill pro and make a living as a cyclist.  I was lying to myself.  But I realized that I don’t have to ride a bicycle professionally to make a living and build a life with the bicycle.  I know accountants who make a living in the bicycle industry.  Designers, artist’s, salespeople, warehouse workers, executives, and small business owners, just to name a few who make a decent living working with the bicycle.  Just because I couldn’t be Laurent Fignon, or Eddy Merckx didn’t mean I couldn’t follow my passion. 

I cant wait to see where my passion takes me next. 

As a retrospective here is a brief slide show of some of the places the bicycle has taken me or sent me.

The hills above Malibu Ca.
From a chairlift in ChampĂ©ry Switzerland.  If you get a chance GO!
View from the top of the Galibier.  A week later Vinokourov broke away here and solo’d to victory.  Years later he was accused of doping but that’s a different story.
Tucany region of Italia
Oleta park in Miami
I spent several days with these military guys a few weeks before they deployed to Iraq.  We met randomly in Grenoble France and they flexed at every spot we stopped.  Ridiculous fun and an opportunity I never would have had without the bicycle.

Tour de Georgia
Tour de Georgia.  Francisco Ventoso buried himself to win this sprint.  To this day probably my favorite professional cyclist. 

I am going to take a slight blog break next week maybe I’ll post Wednesday Quote maybe I wont.  Depends on if  I feel like it.  In the meantime if you need a blog fix go visit Stevil.  He’s always entertaining and he has passion for days.