Finding Inspiration in Small Victories

Biking 4,200 miles — 10 Miles at a Time

Brad's son Ben on a Bike Ride

Inspiration on two wheels

This summer, my son rode 4200 miles across the country in support of affordable housing for bikeandbuild.org. The group of 27 riders crossed the southern United States through unbelievable humidity, baking desert heat, and unforgiving mountain passes. The trip was accented with dozens of punctured tires, a gazillion calories, and not enough sleep.

The tire dipping ritual

The ride includes two rituals. At the beginning of the trip, riders dip their rear tire in the Atlantic in Jacksonville, Florida. Ten weeks later, they complete the journey by dipping their front tire in the Pacific. I flew out to Santa Cruz California to see the final wheel dip and it was a fun day to be a parent.

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Lessons from the 4200 mile ride

As a motivational speaker, my job is to inspire others, but on this day, my son was the one who was teaching me. Here are a few of the things that I learned from my son through his 4200 mile ride:

  • The theory of small wins works.  After the team had ridden the initial few hundred miles, they were overwhelmed and exhausted when they they looked at the map and realized they were still more or less on the East Coast. They had to stop looking at the final goal (California) and start looking at much smaller steps such as, “I need to ride 70 miles today to get to that small town in Alabama by 4 p.m.”
  • Breaking the ride down into manageable parts helped make the big goal less overwhelming. This worked even if it meant looking at the daily ride in segments such as, “I’m not riding 90 miles today. I’m riding 10 miles…. 9 times.”
  • In order to win the mental game, the riders needed to celebrate small and manageable victories. Focusing on the entire goal was too overwhelming to be helpful.

When I reunited with my son at the end of the ride, his positive energy was infectious. It was an inspiration to me as a parent to see my kid achieve something so big. He did it with small steps, mental focus and the support of his amazing team. Watching this ride culminate in Santa Cruz and seeing the entire goal come to fruition truly confirmed that small victories do make a difference.

Brad's son Ben and his friends on bikes
Biography of a Motivational Speaker

Brad Montgomery aims to inspire every time he speaks for any audience, large or small.  Find out more about how Brad can help energize your next company meeting with a passionate and engaging Motivational Keynotes. Brad’s message will help your people make measurable improvements with laughter as a backdrop.  Call us to talk about ramping up YOUR meeting or event.  

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