New Passion Ignites a Flickering Drive

I tend to be pretty darn transparent in these pages. Lately, I have found myself, while excelling at the tasks, not being completely “passionate” about the mission. Now I am writing this agreeing with many that say the word PASSION is overused. However, in my case, looking at how I intend to continue being the leader people can look to for example… passion is a large player.

For 2017 I had already made great strides on the day job, unleashing new user interfaces and reconstructing content. At home, my family is well-adjusted to the new environment and exceeding expectations. Personally, my wife and I began to conquer the beast of weight-loss. My fitness level is higher than its been in decades — so why the lack of passion? Great question and the answer is different for everyone.

On the fitness side, I sprained an ankle badly so it took me out of the gym circle of friends I had begun to cultivate. That left me with Work and Kids to focus on. I still had some “me focus” to work on. So I broke out the bicycles for low impact cardio. I fell back in love with bicycling. The problem was the equipment. As cool as it is to sling around on 30-year-old steel frames for talking points, being decades behind your peers is a party pooper.

In comes all the unwanted advice you can imagine. I managed to sort through most of that and centered in on to look for a good deal on a used bike, while still shopping at various shops to see if there was that one bike that would meet my calling. Road bike or Mountain bike? I had been doing both. Roading by myself and group ride with Jenson USA bike shop in Corona, and mountain biking with a small group from the day job. Neither of my bikes up to date, I wanted to find something that would get me excited to work harder at the sport.

In stepped CYCLOCROSS!! I was looking at some gravel bikes at the stores and getting the components vs. price thing sorted in my mind. Everything in this era seems so stinking expensive. You look at a bike for $1800.00 and the guy in the store refers to it as an entry-level machine. Crazy! One night on I came across an ad from LA, for a Ridley Carbon Framed Cyclocross bike. I knew nothing of the brand, but I liked the picture. I decided to look them up online and do some research. Stiff frame, good shifting, great for climbing — my specialty… this is starting to look up. I tried to dismiss my inner-desire and put it off.

I looked up cyclocross on YouTube and low and behold… Ridley was being ridden by the protagonist of the video. I went back to the ad, contacted the seller and met Jason the next day to buy his bike. I got a great deal on the bike as it came with two sets of wheels and gearing. Now to ride the dang thing…

On a Wednesday after work (yesterday in fact) I met a co-worker for my first run at the Fullerton Loop. It’s an 11-mile loop around Fullerton, CA and has about 1000 foot of climb. He was on his Trek mountain bike and I was on the Ridley. How exciting! We took off and the Ridley was like butter on the wide smooth trail. Over the curb, over a root, through the sandy corner, this thing is solid, stable and fast. It was on the first decent climb that I knew I made the choice that fit me. I zipped past my co-worker and made the summit of the climb with little effort. Each climb after that I tried a new technique or gear selection.
This is AWESOME! If the rear spun, I scooted back. When the front wheelied, which is very easy on this bike, I pushed my weight forward to settle it down. Railroad ties to bunny hop? Roots to clear on the climb? Nothing is too much on this steed. Then came a dark descent. My headlight was not up to the task. It was dark, fast and really choppy. The fun of this ride was becoming fear. Then all of a sudden — Bam! I’m done. 11.5 miles down on the inaugural venture. My Ridley’s Maiden Voyage was a dream come true. My passion is re-sparked and my outlook on everything is refreshed. Hang on. I feel a rush of content coming on.