I fell in love with cycling 20 years ago. I lived in Chicago without a car for three years during law school. Feeling a bit isolated, I bought a bike and the entire city opened up. I rode every corner of that great town.
I rode so much that I decided to take on the challenge of a 100-mile bike ride. I chose the MS Century Bicycle Ride (consistently one of the best supported rides), and my love for biking was cemented.
When I graduated from law school, I danced with the idea of riding my bike across the country instead of taking the Bar exam. When I proposed this to my mom (who would otherwise let me raise llamas in the backyard if I pitched it to her with enough enthusiasm), she said, “Ann, you’ve come this far. Take the bar exam and get a job.” So that’s what I did.
And instead of riding from coast to coast, I talked about riding coast to coast. For 20 years. And it was always laced with the word “someday.” “Someday I’m going to ride my bike across country.”
But I was busy. I moved to (and fell in love with) California, practiced law at two of the best law firms in Silicon Valley, led the legal departments of two high-tech start-ups, co-directed the Entrepreneurial Education Program at the Girls Middle School for 5 years, taught indoor cycling classes at the YMCA for 7 years, ran my own law firm for 5 years, started a women’s conference in 8 cities across the country, wrote a book, married my best friend, moved to “the NY area,” became a stepmom, started LifeMoxie, a successful management consulting firm, and wrote book #2.
But I never stopped riding.
I discovered the thrill of mountain biking in the Santa Cruz mountains. I rode the California AIDS Ride twice from SF to LA raising over $11,000 for AIDS Research. I rode around the Bay Area during the week and almost every weekend with my biking buddy, Steven Schulman. Together we trained for the Davis Double, a 200-miles-in-one-day bike ride by riding a century every weekend for 8 weeks. We successfully rode the psychotic Davis Double two years in a row. And even when I moved to “the NY area,” I discovered a whole new joy on the bike – riding to the ocean at 6am to watch the sunrise with my East Coast biking buddies, Cliff, Chuck, and Bruce. And even in the bitter winter, we continue to ride. I have learned that with the right layers, I can rally for biking in 28 degrees. Who knew?!
So now, after 20 years of biking and 20 years of talking about biking across the country, I am finally done talking, and I am finally ready to ride.
But my life has gotten no less busy. I’ve realized over the past 20 years that my life will never be “not busy.” Whose life is “not busy?” Who just happens to have 2 1/2 months with nothing to do? And everything that seemed too important to sacrifice for the ride now in hindsight seems not worth the sacrifice of my ride.
I don’t have time to wait until I’m not busy. If this is going to happen, then I need to fit it into my busy life or forever wish I had.
And so The Moxie Ride starts on May 15th from San Francisco and ends at the Jersey Shore at the end of July.
I’ll be documenting the adventure in the next 3 months before the ride and each day during the ride, so stay tuned. I’m sure there is a “someday” that you’ve been training for over the past 20 years. I hope that my adventure will light a fire under your someday.