Camp PedalWORKS is almost over.
I’ll be returning home to the west coast in a week or two. In the next several posts, I thought I would reflect on the experience. Not just about the cycling. It is certainly the main focus, but there are other noteworthy pursuits as well.
I have been here for 4 months. Most of that time I have been alone, except for short visits with my kids, and grandkids. Alone, without TV, or the Internet. Well, almost. I have a limited data plan on my phone I use to pay the bills, check the weather, document my rides with STRAVA, and post to PedalWORKS.
This is the first thing I’d like to reflect on.
Instead of TV, or the Internet, I listen to CBC radio, and read suspense novels for entertainment. CBC is Canada’s public radio network. It’s commercial free, and it’s content is 80% Canadian. It’s informative, interesting, and the reporting is thorough, and balanced with a national and international focus. And, most of the time I am without a car. The closest grocery store is 5 km away, and the nearest town with other services is 15-20 km by bike.
This is self inflicted. I purposely simplify life while at Camp PedalWORKS. The intent is to reconnect with my feelings, and to see how good a cyclist I can become.
I have been coming to Camp PedalWORKS for years now. It has become an annual pilgrimage. An annual pursuit of simplicity, and excellence. An endeavour few understand, or share.
No one on the road cycles. At least not the way I do. No one on the road is vegan. No one on the road is without TV and the Internet. No one on the road is without a vehicle. No one on the road is without a partner. It’s as if we are on different roads. I suppose we are.
I’m an anomaly. Everyone is friendly. And helpful. But wary. Careful not to get too close. Sometimes I think they are intimidated. They don’t want to cycle together because they know they can’t keep up. They don’t want to share a meal because they don’t know what to prepare.
So, Camp PedalWORKS is a self imposed discipline – some would say pain – in the pursuit of excellence. Excellence in cycling for sure, but in thought and health as well. In the history of PedalWORKS – it has been 10+ years – I have become a “cyclist”, leaner, stronger, vegan, more relaxed, less driven, and more patient, and more introspective.
Camp PedalWORKS has been transformative. I’m a stronger, faster, and more confident cyclist. I’m leaner and stronger – the way I was meant to be. I’m more relaxed, eat a simpler and cleaner diet, and sleep longer and deeper.
So, what motivates me?
There is no one answer. In part, its ethical. A response to climate change. I believe it is real, and we each have a responsibility to act. Cycling is cleaner. A vegan diet reduces the demand for animal proteins, and farming for them is the least productive use of the land emitting excessive amounts of carbon dioxide. And, in part it’s for health reasons. Obesity and inactivity are the curse of this age. I see too many older adults that are overweight, and look as if they never get outside. Not only does this over burden our healthcare system, it shortens life expectancy, and limits one’s potential.
I was on this road as a young, newly wed man. I decided then that this was the wrong road to follow. So, I cut myself free, changed my diet, and upgraded my bike.
The result has been Camp PedalWORKS.