Recently I rode the Covered Bridges Classic in Lancaster Pennsylvania in support of a friend. We were riding the short route, 35 miles. The Covered Bridges Classic is a rolling ride through Amish farm country. I’ve ridden this event many times over the years. Normally I would have ridden the metric century at this event, but this time I was with a friend who was new to cycling events, so I rode in support to add my experience and my company to his day. I went with the flow. It changed my focus a little. I noticed little things at the roadsides. I stopped for pictures at the bridges, and I found that the time slipped smoothly by.
Ken is a co-worker and good friend. I’ve been talking to him about cycling and events for years. He took up cycling himself, and chose the Covered Bridges Classic as a goal. He’s learned a good deal about cycling, and while the ride would be his longest ride distance of the year, he was ready to test himself. We had a good day for it. I have to admit that I felt good on the climbs, and there were times when I chased a few riders up the hills. On the back side of one particularly long and grinding climb we were rewarded with a steep descent that got our top speeds for the day up to 40 mph. We rode it safely and it was a memorable roller coaster moment. I was impressed by Ken’s focus and determination. We finished feeling good, and I don’t think I could have enjoyed it any more than I did.
I saw it all through the eyes of my friend, and we were so pleased afterward that my girlfriend, who had been studying at a local cafe, is now determined to join us on the ride next year. When we returned to work, we showed photographs and shared our stories of the event with our co-workers, and that was also a part of the experience. A different perspective on an event can be refreshing!