The Bike Ride from Hell

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and it is a gorgeous 50 degree sunny day. I decided to go for what will probably be the last bike ride of the season. What a treat! I love bike riding!

There is much serenity on the bike path. However, one of the things that I find exceedingly annoying is when there are pedestrians in your lane, and more pedestrians approaching in the on-coming lane, and it’s obvious that you are all going to meet at the exact same time. What that means for the conscientious bike rider is that you have to break your stride, slow down, even come to a complete stop if you have to. This is especially bothersome if you’re really cruising after coming down a hill.

That’s exactly what happened to me today. Those old folks out enjoying the beautiful day…God love ’em!

As I rode away, making sure I shifted my gears rather loudly to demonstrate my annoyance, the thought came back to me again…

There are no setbacks, only learning opportunities.

Now, come on! Seriously? How could that possibly be anything but a setback? Really. I mean, I seriously tried to think of how that could be a learning opportunity. I got nuthin’.

Later on, I encountered another biker, who, in my opinion, was doing something unsafe. My reaction was that I became so upset that I could think of nothing but kicking my leg out as he tried to pass me and knocking him over…only to turn around to come back and pummel him. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever been that upset on a bike ride before. I got off my bike and was seriously about to hit something. (Fortunately I took none of these actions!)

Other really annoying “setbacks” kept happening on my bike ride. Suddenly, this “really great day for a bike ride” was not turning out so wonderful.

Then, I was reminded of the fact that…

Nobody can make me mad. I only make myself angry.

I didn’t like hearing myself think that thought at first, I can tell you that.

I thought about something, though, that put things into perspective for me. It’s not as though people were thinking, “Oh, here comes that Steve Pederson guy. I can’t stand him. Let’s do something to really mess with him!” No. These were just people going about their day. They just happened to get in my way.

All of the things that annoyed me today were instances of me having a plan in my mind how I wanted things to go, and they didn’t go the way I wanted them to go, so I got angry.

See, I didn’t really have any setbacks. I learned something today. I learned that sometimes I need to make adjustments. The world doesn’t revolve around me and my agenda, and that’s okay.

The main thing is that I returned home safely to tell the world about my learning experience.


About stevepederson

I am a speaker, author, musician, coach, teacher and web designer. I love nature, photography, exercise and combining these elements when I can.
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One Response to The Bike Ride from Hell

  1. alanallard says:

    Steve, great story and example of how we can take responsibility for our emotions, decisions and behaviors! It’s not always easy and sometimes we forget that we can choose what we think and therefore how we feel moment to moment. The great thing is we always have an opportunity to turn things around and there will always be another time to practice.

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