The Lost Bikeathon

Roughly 15 years ago, I rode a bicycle 150 miles in a single 9-hour span.

That really happened! It was part of a charity bike-a-thon to raise awareness of and money for MS research. At the time, I was a very casual cyclist, averaging about 15 miles a day a few days a week, and never doing more than 25 in a single run. So naturally when some of my much more experienced cycling buddies said they wanted to do this event and invited me, I arrogantly said yes. How hard could it be? 150 miles wasn’t that much more than 25.

Oh boy.

I cursed and swore more in the last 2 miles than in the entire rest of my life combined. I couldn’t move for three days after. But I made it. It was exhilarating and one of my proudest moments.

No evidence of it exists whatsoever.

I was young. I didn’t know what I know now; that chronicling your own accomplishments is so important, because no one else will. I took no pictures, I didn’t write about the event when it happened, I didn’t download any press coverage of the event (not that it would have referenced me specifically out of thousands of participants, but at least I could have pointed to that and said “I was there”). Heck, I don’t even still have the bike. If you told me you didn’t believe that I had done it, I couldn’t prove it to you.

That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, of course. And a lot of the value of the event is internal and no one can take that from me. But a lot of your accomplishments in life can serve the purpose of being foundational for obtaining new opportunities.

You accomplish so much more than you note, and you’ve achieved so much more than you’ve archived. I’m not nostalgic nor sentimental and I’m anti-stuff, but a digital footprint takes no space. A blog post or a picture isn’t clutter. Record your moments. You’ll be glad you did.

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