This past spring a friend asked me to join his team for a 24 hour bike race to benefit cancer. His father had recently passed away from the disease, so I really wanted to support his family by joining the team. And I had no idea how much fun we would have along the way.
The race is called the 24 Hours of Booty and right from the start it felt like a different race. Riding on a team for Patrick’s father brought real purpose to the event for me. And thousands of other people were riding for their loved ones or friends. There were signs throughout the race course and pinned on people’s backs like “in memory of daddy…miss you” or “in memory of my beautiful wife” or this one below. It seemed that everyone was out to ride for someone really important to them.
Each time I saw one of the signs, I was reminded of the reason I signed up in the first place. Yes, I was riding a bicycle as much as I could for 24 hours, but I was really there for something bigger than me. And so were 1200 other riders.
On Saturday morning, I even reconnected with the memory of one of my mom’s best friends who passed away from cancer last year. So, I wrote her name on my “in memory” of sign. Then I texted my mom and told her how much I missed Aunty Jay’s laugh. It was a nice moment.
We also had our fair share of fun throughout the event. I had such a blast riding through the night with other bikers lighting up the road. People lined the streets with huge tailgates and tents to cheer on the racers. And they all wanted high fives which I loved.
The event organizers were absolutely extraordinary, and there was a tremendous spread of food and drinks for all the riders. I have planned a few 5Ks before but can’t imagine what it takes to entertain and support people for 24 hours. Incredible.
I also had an amazing time getting to know some new friends on my team and share the experience as a group.
The race event taught me how to sleep with ice on my butt. Yes, all the riding does make you a little sore. And I learned that you get odd looks when you walk into a bar in all tights. It was the first time I stopped at a bar for a beer at 1am and then went back out to ride a bike for another hour.
It was a fantastic weekend with so many great memories. I will definitely be back again next year.
I think my biggest takeaway from the race was reconnecting with how to do activities with purpose and intention. Sometimes it is easy to forget why I am doing what I am doing each day. However, if I can connect each of my activities or tasks to something larger than myself, it sure does feel a lot easier. A 24 hr bike race sure got me re-centered, and that makes one plus one more than two for me. Have a great week.