As I was getting my final training rides in this week, I was thinking about the things that make the Tour des Trees special to so many people, me included. Here’s the list I came up with upon arriving home and jotting down my notes. I’d welcome any of your own lessons learned in the comments!
1. When life gives you free lunch, you eat it.
2. When everybody stinks, nobody stinks.
3. Love every single glorious descent, because you will be punished for each one later.
4. No matter how many gears you have, life will always throw something at you where none of them are quite right, and you just have to grit your teeth and grind it out.
5. There’s nothing wrong with being able to recognize your friends by their butts.
6. Knowing you have support in front of you, behind you, and alongside you makes everything achievable.
7. No matter how nice your bike is, somebody else always has a nicer one.
8. A ride with no trees makes it most clear why we ride for the trees.
9. You’ll never have nicer conversations than the ones you share on a journey with fellow travelers.
10. What happens on the Tour does not stay on the Tour: it ripples outward, over space and time, and makes the world a better place.
Ride on! See you soon in Tennessee and Kentucky!