One of the things with finding something you really enjoy is finding the time to actually enjoy it!
This is one of my biggest battles – finding time to escape the pressures of life and just jump on my bike and enjoy the feeling of freedom. With 2 full time jobs – Motherhood & Project Management, I find that there is always something pulling me away from the bike.
So, time to make a change!
As everyone knows, my main Reason 2 Ride is to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Research. But as I have begun to realise, it can’t always be about Cancer. Like the disease itself, my reason sits in the background and constantly reminds me that life can really suck sometimes. Hearing stories that are not fairy tales and rarely end in “Happily Ever After” take their toll.
So, time to make a change!
My workplace – The City of Whittlesea - likes to embrace a healthy balance. Our catering policy is tailored around Healthy Choices, we have onsite physio to iron out our desk fatigue, Pilates and Yoga to stretch our muscles that are fused into a seated position and the local gym that offers a selection of quick lunch time classes from Boxfit to Core Strength. We have treadmills, stationary bikes and cross trainers and the office is located at the base of Quarry Hills in South Morang which offer some great trails for runners and mountain bikes.
But now we have something else. Something that certainly has given me another Reason 2 Ride.
Welcome TIME TRIAL TUESDAY.
This has been a rather informal way for a handful of the boys who enjoy a ride at lunch time. But now, it is becoming something a little more than that. In the past, it has been an informal 'race' where you earn bragging rights. It has been a gathering of 5 riders who ride a pre-determined route and on completion you get to boast about your time.
But now, it is something a little more than that!! Time to make that change!!
I am the first female participant in Time Trial Tuesday. For that, I was given the nickname “The Token” We all have registered our times for the 20.3km course that takes on some of the suburban streets, the flat of Plenty Road and then looping back to the office.
I registered my time of 39:25 – ranking me 6 out of the first 9 participants who have joined Time Trial Tuesday. This time has given me a 45 second handicap. (Yes, I have earned a handicap!!)
So, at 12noon each Tuesday, a marshal will release us one by one at our handicapped time out onto the course. And our aim is to get back in one piece and to be the first one back. Our fastest rider has a handicap of 4 mins 20 seconds … so really, the aim is to beat “Lance” back to the office.
The good thing about this is that it has started a conversation around the office. And that conversation is about cycling. Already the ears of 3 other females have pricked up … realising that they would not be the only female out there. Afterall, we all know how intimidating and competitive male cyclists can be :) But I am not afraid of that. I would rather be out there being beaten by the boys than not be out there at all.
The girls are now talking about being involved. They are asking “Can I ride with you?”
I must admit, this TIME TRIAL TUESDAY has bought out a new Reason 2 Ride for me. Yes, I have discovered that even I can be competitive. I have found that when I have spotted another rider in the distance, I have put the head down, silenced my legs and tried to catch them.
|I may have even upgraded the tyres to something a bit faster too!|
But the one benefit from all of this is building a new community of cyclists. I work in an organisation that exceeds 1000 people. And week by week, our Time Trial event will draw new participants. It will promote another option to providing a Healthy Workplace and it will give us all something different to talk about at the water cooler or photo copier.
So, here I am now beating the excuse of “I can’t find time” and using what little time I do have. And I think that my workplace will also enjoy the benefit of me being able to clear my mind and ‘blow out the cobwebs’. Instead of sitting in the tea room dwelling on what I need to do and pretending to have a break during the day, I am getting out and clearing my head. Taking the break that we all need, forgetting about the pressures that build up during the day and actually finding time to enjoy something that truly makes you happy.