My first experience with riding through a substantial amount of sand occurred in a cyclocross race at Boulder Reservoir. After finishing that race, I told myself I would never race that course again. I just don’t like riding a bicycle through sand. When I started riding the dual sport motorcycle, we eventually made our way to substantial amounts of sand in the Utah desert. After the Utah trip, I concluded that I just don’t like riding through sand at all, no matter what kind of bike I’m on.
Regardless of the type of bike you are on, the technique for getting through the sand is the same: sit down, weight the back wheel, allow the front wheel to float, and power through. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? What could possibly go wrong?
As I applied the technique in the deepest part of the sand pit at a recent adventure in the Great Sand Dunes, I found that my front wheel tended to have a mind of its own and often went in the direction of its choice. The words “bucking bronco” came to mind. Of course I dropped the bike a number of times. I was grateful for every recent squat repetition and push up. Without those, I wouldn’t have had the strength to pick up a 300 pound bike repeatedly and keep going.
After making it through that 3/4 mile sand pit on my own, it occurred to me how many life lessons could be learned in that sand pit.
I have compiled a list of those lessons here to share with all of you:
~Keep pushing and eventually you get through it.
~Sometimes life requires that we do things we don’t like to do.
~Nurture your body and spirit so that it can overcome challenges.
~Don’t go on an adventure without first educating yourself of the risks.
~Learn skill techniques related to the activities you do.
~Be prepared for the worst case scenario.
Sometimes the bike doesn’t go through the sand in a straight line. There will be bumps and bounces along the way. There will be surprises along the way. You might even have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off from time to time. You might need to relax your grip and just go with it. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Be open and adaptable to a challenge. Life really begins at the end of your comfort zone.