What if I just give up?
What if I quit in the mountains? I climb Allison Pass on day three. I’m only riding 70km that day…but it is a whole day of climbing. There is nothing like that in southwestern Ontario and at best I can train by riding into a stiff headwind. I feel completely ill prepared for the mountains. Or what if I get to my mom’s in Saskatchewan and decide after a week off the bike that I’d rather spend the rest of my summer on the beaches of Lake Huron?
I’m not one to give up easily. My last Ironman 70.3 race was in 2015. I couldn’t really train because my IT band was giving me so much grief. I did the race anyways and ended up walking 19km because I couldn’t run. The pain was intense, but I wasn’t about to give up…I really wanted that finisher’s hat!
Am I the only one that finds it hard to detach ego from a bucket list item?
What if I need to end my trip early?
A lot of things can bring a tour to a quick end: a major mechanical failure, being hit by a car, injury, my rig is stolen. The list goes on.
There is only so much that I can do to avoid such contingencies. I can wear high visibility kit. I can put flashing lights on my bike. I can lock my bike. I can vigilantly maintain my bike. And so on. But there is nothing I can do if a motorist decides it is more important to send a text than it is to not hit me. And if someone really wants my rig, no lock is going to stop them.
What if I get stuck in snow on a mountain?
Snow in June (it’s a great album, am I right!) is a thing. And if it’s true for Saskatchewan…surely it’s true on top of a mountain.
I have no problem with hitchhiking off a snowy mountain. Doing so will not detract from my claim that I cycled coast to coast.
What if I’m attacked by a bear?
Bears gotta eat too, I guess. But I sure hope my aim with the bear spray is good!
What if I am killed in an accident?
I find it is really helpful to deny my mortality and simply refuse to think about it.
Keanu Reeves said it best recently when he responded to the question of what happens to us when we die:
“I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”
So many what-ifs.