I’m lucky enough to have a large group of Cycle Oregon friends and acquaintances. And every year about this time we check in with each other to see who is going and who is not. It seems like a very simple question that should elicit either a “yes” or “no” response. Unfortunately all too often I get the dreaded third response: “I’m signed up.” This answer stinks on ice.
To me, Cycle Oregon isn’t an event that happens in September. It is an experience that begins in February and doesn’t end until I unpack and wash all my gear sometime in December. Getting ready is a satisfying part of the journey and a good in and of itself. It deserves full commitment.
“I’m signed up” is not a commitment and more often than not, people who aren’t committed don’t go. Even if they defy the odds and end up riding, they still miss out on looking forward to the ride all season long, which is part of the fun.
Picturing the event in your mind’s eye provides great motivation. It helps get you through the hard days and gives you an incentive to train even on the days when you’ve got opportunities for more immediate satisfaction. Holding open the option to bail can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On top of that, since Cycle Oregon sells out signing up when you aren’t fully committed deprives someone on the waiting list of the full experience. Are they really going to train as seriously if they don’t know if you are going to make it? Even if they do, they’ll have that senses of uncertainty hanging over them. Where’s the pleasure in that?
So do yourself, your friends, and your fellow riders a solid – just say “yes.”