Cycling is more fun than I imagined. To be frank, I have been asking myself how come I waited so long before owning a bicycle. About two years ago I joined some riding friends for my first Accra ride. This group became the coolguys riding club. It was scary first riding on the busy street from Madina to Osu through the University of Ghana. Ridding as a form of exercise has not only be fun but it has taught me very useful life lessons.
LESSON 1: CONFRONT YOUR FEAR FACTOR
Urban riding is not an easy thing to do. On my first major ride with my riding team I crushed into the side of a parked car because I could not confidently ride through the parked cars. This was the fear factor working against me. The fear of riding on a busy road was a tall order I had to confront. That fear has not disappeared but what I know is that doing what causes us fear can help kill what we fear. In life there are many things that seem to scare us. We all have some fears. These fears have become the reason why we cannot do the positive things that we dream of doing. They have become the imaginary barrier preventing us from taking our first important step towards our dream. Truth be told, fears don’t just vanish. They vanish when we confront them. Doing what you are afraid of doing is what will liberate you from the prison of fear. Don’t only pray your fears away but take steps and confront it. Don’t only plan about how to conquer your fear, you must act that plan to curb your fears.
LESSON 2: LIFE HAS IT OWN UPS AND DOWN RIDE
Riding is fun. It is so fun when you are doing the flat road or descending the hill but when you have to ride up a hill, you will hate the same thing that brought you fun. One interesting observation from riding is that where you are challenged the most is always the point where you are just about to enjoy a pleasant ride. I remember my first ride to Peduase. That was a very difficult task. At a point I wanted to give up but I persevered to the end with support and motivation from the rest of the team. After the hard work up the rest of the ride down was all fun.
Life has its own ups and downs. When you are faced with life challenges, you will may even think life is not worth living it. Life ‘downs’ can be very difficult times. If you don’t persevere or resolved to remain stronger, you will give up at the point in your life when success is just about to blossom. So like riding, enjoy the moments in life when things are great. Always remember that there are hills ahead and when you get there remember to stay focus. Understand that the difficult time will pass. Don’t give up when life is hard. You will soon be on a great road that will get you closer to your destination.
LESSON 3: DON’T WAIT FOR PERFECT MOMENTS
Riding a bicycle in a city like Accra can be a bit dangerous and complex. Dangerous because the roads are not cycling friendly. Most of the drivers don’t respect other road users especially people on bicycles. That is the truth but you cannot wait to get all the hurdles off the road before you start out on your dream. Waiting thousand years is not a guarantee that bicycle lanes will be constructed to make it easier for bicycle lovers to go out there and enjoy what they dream of enjoying. You must get out there, having in mind to be watchful and being conscious on the road. The truth is that in life you will not get all that you need but you can make something out of what you have. Kill those excuses and start with what you have instead of waiting for the perfect condition to start what you wish to start.
LESSON 4: PREPARE FOR SURPRISES
The truth is that, on the road anything can happen so get prepared. You can just have a flat tire. You can fall, have scare, and meeting very unfriendly drivers. Sometimes in life no matter how prepared you are, something can go wrong. When they do, find a way around your challenge and get going. You must be conscious of this reality and develop a way to face unexpected challenges. When things happen to us in ways we never expected, we only must ensure never to give up on our dreams. Rest if you have to rest but keep your focus.
LESSON 5: LOVE AND HATE ABOUND IN LIFE
On the road, you will meet different people; whether as pedestrians or drivers. Some of them will smile at you and some will frown at you. Some drivers will give you your right of way and ensure you are safe. Others will try to scare you by driving close to you. Some drivers will let you know that you are not welcomed on the street with your bicycle. Not everyone will love or like what you are doing or you intend doing. Your dream will attract to you both haters and lovers. Some people will create problems for you and some people will encourage you. Not all are your haters and not all are your loves. Keep your life simple. Avoid the people you need to avoid. Keep to your life’s journey whether you get liked or not.
Get a bike and enjoy a healthy fun ride.
Author: Roderick O. Ayeh