http://www.theroadrider.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_2512.movThere is a personality test called the “Strengths Finder” that I have used for decades. Finding out what my top five strengths are and focusing on them was a life saver 20+ years ago. I still refer to them often, if not daily.
About a year ago I got the full list of 34 strengths with my prioritization. (I only knew the top 5 until then.) It did not surprise me that Adaptability was 34 of 34. The bottom. Jeri used to kid, “Jeff is fine with being spontaneous as long as he plans for it.” She is absolutely right. Wednesday evening I got to put my Adaptability to the test.
Wednesday afternoon I got in early, set up my tent, did laundry, took a shower at Anytime Fitness, and got a Starbucks. I sat there and caught up my journals, all my emails, did some work on next week. And then I left. Oh! I forgot to mention that Cole was going to leave for home that morning, so we had stashed his truck at the Starbucks–I’d been doing all this with a car, not on my bike. The evening was setting up to be great. And then the truck died as I headed back to camp.
Here is where my adaptability strength came in so handy. Ha! It took almost 3 hours, but eventually we got the truck towed. Cole talked to his boss. I talked to mine (Jeri). We concluded that there was no sense sitting around all day tomorrow. Jeri would deal with the dealership in Newton and Cole and I would go off and ride.
So on Thursday I took off on the 100 mile loop. It was a great ride. It may be my best 100 mile ride ever. I actually rode 106 miles, climbed 5,000’, and was on my bike for 6 hours and 45 minutes. I rode with 4 flags but never stopped long enough to do any writing. My hope was to get back, bum a ride back to Newton and drive the truck to our new camp. Well I did, but the truck was not ready when I was and we finally picked it up around 9pm.
So today I took the day off. I thought I would help the staff break down and set up the new camp. They did NOT need my help. This is a smooth running machine. I unloaded bags for 15 minutes and that was about it. I was able to run Cole’s truck through the paces. Since I was not doing anything else, I had it washed. Then I vacuumed it and cleaned the interior with Armor-all. AND I did his laundry. (He only brought enough to wear through Wednesday. It was pretty smelly! Ha)
Tomorrow, I’ll get back on the road for the last 70 miles. Cole has talked one of our teammates into driving his truck so we can both do the final day. Weird 48 hours.
Good thing I am so Adaptable!
The Road Rider
PS. The first 50 miles of the 100 mile day were the best of my trip so far. I got some of those wide open spaces I’ve been looking for. Only picture I took all day was of the Shadow Man. Wow was he riding fast!
RAGBRAI 2017 – Day 2, Post 3
I Ride For: Lani
Now I am 85 miles into the day. The “extra” loop went so well I never stopped. I’m now back in exactly the same spot I was in for the last post. You can see from the pictures what two hours does to a town on the RAGBRAI route. And it will say like this for hours.
I learned something about support in the last two hours. While I knew I was going to do the “loop” for Lani, I still had to physically make the move to go straight instead of taking the shorter route and turing left. This decision ALWAYS leaves me in a little bit of a funk. About 20 minutes into this decision I turned on some music. That helped a bunch. My pace picked up and I got a little bounce back in the stroke. I passed a few people and a few passed me.
Something I look for once in a while is a small group riding up behind me, but not catching me too fast. This is a group I might be able to hang with. About 8 miles from the half way mark I spotted just such a group. It took them about 5 minutes to catch me and I was ready when they got close to hop on the back. Then two things happened – “Ready to Run” by the Dixie Chicks came up on my speaker and they pulled in behind ME!
Here is what I learned today: When someone who we think is stronger asks us to pull, we pull.
Lani, I don’t know how this applies to you. I just write what I feel and hope it connects. Your friend Theresa asked me to do this flag for you. She and Tony are out here on the course somewhere riding for you, too. I hope your recovery goes well. Maybe someone who you think is coming to help you will actually need you to pull. It is an awesome feeling I hope you get to experience.
The Road Rider