For the past eleven weeks I’ve been riding in Chet’s Peloton #tourdeisolation. Every Tuesday and Saturday a group of BTL crazies and those they roped into the zaniness would race a 20’-75’ stage of this stationary suffer-fest. Twice a week we would ride a lone. Twice a week we would ride All One. Over eighty participants raced in the first handful of stages. Only thirty-six riders were left racing by the time we completed stage twenty-one.
Last Sunday a handful of us gathered on a zoom call. We met fellow riders who until then, to me, had just been Peloton handles and power output numbers. We shared our stories, laughed, and congratulated one another on our PRs and making it through the event.
As the conversation went on, riders started sharing how they rode. Like myself, a few people stayed mostly in the saddle. Some were toying with the PJ approach and standing for the whole stage. Powered_by_PBR’s magic formula was to stand one minute then sit one minute, while yaledog13 would sit for two minutes, stand for one.
Everyone had their own equation, and like each individual no two formulae were the same. Some competed within the group, others competed against their previous best. Each person’s excellence was as unique as each person. Everyone agreed they would never have ridden as hard or as often had they not been part of the challenge. We rode alone on stationary bikes all over the country, and we rode as One pushing ourselves and one another from the dark of winter until the dawn of spring.
It was great meeting a few new friends on Sunday and sharing in the excellence of the group. It was a blessing riding along with friends and strangers for the past eleven weeks and having their presence (albeit virtual) push me beyond what I would ever have attempted on my own. We each took a step (or twenty-one) on our path toward excellence. I look forward to another tour in the future, where individually we can tinker with our formula for excellence… together.
What’s your unique formula for excellence? Who’s riding with you as you reach for more?