Moving Forward…

The last week I haven’t blogged, honestly I have been too tried to do so. Riding and living out of a tent is a challenge when you are riding as much as I am, however I really enjoy it. The weather has been extremely windy the last week too, as if the North and South winds are having this epic battle. Not one day has gone by that I don’t get 80 miles of strong head winds and with varying terrain, it makes for some very long days.

Since this is on my mind tonight, let me get it out. There has been a bunch of naysaying on the Strava sight about what I am doing ride wise. I’m going to keep this short – what’s the point? If any one out there gets the chance to ride across the US (Southern Tier) you will find that I’m not riding on glassy roads and in a vacuum. The ride is a varied one. One with road conditions from smooth, cracked, large bumpy cracks, dirt, to gravel (yes, I took a wrong turn and had to grind some gravel for 10 miles). The terrain is that of the American South, from hilly to mountainous, to flat and winding – but overall the ride is an Epic one. One that I’ll never forget!

Why do others have to tear others down when someone is doing something out of the ordinary? Is it because they wish they were doing it? Is there something that just eats at people when others are doing something, I have no clue and honestly I do care as I have spent some time thinking about it. However, the bottom line is I’m doing what I set out for ’14 goals and I’m not going to stop, no matter what some naysayer has to say. Continue to talk as I’ll continue to allow my legs to talk for me.

As of this moment I’m about to knock out a goal I set. One of riding across the Souther Tier on a fixed gear bike with gear self contained. That goal is on the horizon and I’m really looking forward to putting that one behind me as its made for some very long days but well worth it! So when the end of the month arrives, I have to ask. What will you have accomplished???

If things go right – I hope to accomplish the following:

1. Ride Fixed Across the United States
2. Be the first person in ’14 to Ride Across the US
3. Ride Over 4,000 miles during the month
4. If stars align finished top the leaderboard on the Strava Challenge for January
5. Raise money for a couple of athletes – I need your help on this one! See RIO-FUND on sight
6. Inspire thousands to “Go Ride Yo Bike”!!!

Okay – now that I have a little of that off my chest. Lets get to writing about what I have thought about this week. Okay – for starters Pedal, Pedal, Pedal – okay, that’s what I was doing the entire week I failed to write! LOL

I’ve learned a lot on this trip! I’ve entitled this post “Moving Forward” because no matter what you are doing in life you have to keep this mentally – in the good times and the bad as there will always be both or moments that lie some where in between. I thought about an analogy with the roads I described above that I would like to share. There are moments when riding I’m enjoying it and I wouldn’t want to be anyone where else! Those roads are like some of the roads I was on today – smooth and not a jarring sensation in a 20-30 mile stretch – those would be like the days that everything is going flawlessly! Then there are moments in out lives were we have roads like the ones I experienced coming out of Ocotillo, CA or Texas for that matter that make you had the bike all together and you are wishing you were done with this section as its brutal jarring of the body and bike and its slowed you down 2-5 mph because you just can’t travel very fast across. Then there are the roads in between that throw head winds at you, cross winds, and that almighty tail wind (which I’m still wondering where mine has been the last 18 days!) that are like all those peaks/valleys we experience in life. However, when it comes down to it what ever obstacles (variables) that are thrown in your path you must keep moving forward! Life will bring the good and the bad, but guess what – its the choices in your attitude that determine the outcome of your day(s). I’m not the best at this, I think we all are still practicing, but when I’m in the moment I can rationalize that if I keep (you guessed it) “moving forward” the bad time will turn good and unfortunately the good will turn bad, but that’s the story of each of our journey isn’t it.

I have learned so much of what I can and can’t handle on this trip and I’m looking forward to the next 13 days – if I make my goals I’ll be happy. But guess what, if I don’t I’ll live and hopefully move past the feeling of of missing out on those goals quickly as life isn’t going to stop for my self-pity party. Not worth it any more – I’m hoping to make this year and EPIC year as it has started off on the right foot – just wish I didn’t have to drink so much protein daily as its getting expensive! LOL (Hey, a man’s gotta fuel)

What else has happened thats worthy of this post. Heard a Convenient Store Clerk talking with a patron today and he mentioned he always carries a Nine on the Side, and his 40 is at home. I’m assuming guns are his thing or its just part of Alabama I’m in. I’ve been in some sketch neighborhoods and some outstanding ones but all are the same to me – families with dreams no matter the monetary means.

So to wrap this up – let me try a quick recap:

Bike – It’s got some small squeaks to it but overall its in good shape. Tires are waring but I think have another 500-1000 miles in them, chain is about to get replaced with my spare that I have had with me this entire time (just in case!).

Camping Gear – We have a sleeping pad down so I’m sleep mostly on the ground. The timing of some other gear didn’t workout so I’m making due – not the best but as the title of this post states – move forward. Tent’s still feeling like a plastic bag, but last night it all froze as it was below freezing so it was easy to scrap off this morning before rolling out, but sure was frigid!

Work – Falling behind, with no wi fi or phone service in some areas this has been tough! Athletes – if you are reading this, call me and we can catch up!

Body – holding strong and getting stronger as the journey continues! Doing the right things to take care of what I need to take care of! 🙂

I have about 500 miles before I reach the Atlantic Ocean where I’ll decide to press on, gotta keep moving forward if I would like to reach all those goals I have set!

I would love to hear about every body else’s goals for the year! I’m closing in on one EPIC goal for ’14, by the time I get there what will you have done?


PS – if there are any typos – my excuse is I’m tired and editing is for formal papers and I’ll edit when i finish this EPIC trip! ;-}

Coach Matt

About Matt Carnal

I love riding my bike, and helping others achieve the goals that they've laid out for themselves.