Whoop, whoop! It’s our first anniversary. One year ago People on Bicycles officially launched with a website and classes. Woohoo!
If you had asked me five years ago where I’d see myself in the future I probably would have been stuck for words with only a vague ideas. To be entirely honest with you, if someone had said to me I’d be running my own business, had become a qualified bicycle coach and I’d be teaching people in my own workshops – all of this would have sound terribly obscure and improbably to me. Five years ago this was just a vague idea and many things had to happen to get me where I am now.
Frankly, People on Bicycles has grown and eventuated through the most unlikely series of events. Many people, directly or indirectly, have done a little bit along the way to encourage me to make this all happen. I am honestly grateful for every twist and turn that’s brought me here and I’m equally excited to see where else this all will grow.
Last week over a dinner out in town I mentioned that I was running this business. The usual response was head-nodding and ‘uh-us’. I get it. It’s the usual response from people who aren’t a person on a bicycle. Not many understand that there’s plenty of folk out there who don’t know how to ride a bicycle or those who want to learn more. So this enterprise always needs a bit of an explanation about the fact that some acquire skills in childhood, but like many skills riding can be learned at any stage in life.
Yes, there are people who think riding is the most dangerous activity one could do. I wholeheartedly disagree. I’d be more terrified of bungee jumping or shark diving, but surely, if I were keen to actually do either of those activities, no doubt I could learn it – with the right trainer. See? That’s the point! It’s all about finding the one person who understands that I’m terrified of heights or sharks and works with me.
Back to the dinner: after my usual spiel my friend said ‘Good luck with your business. I hope it’ll be a great success’. What a lovely thing to say! Success. It is always such a tricky word though, isn’t it? What does it actually mean. Is success when you make a bunch of money that leads you to retire on a magical island? Many of the people that I work with would look at a Tour de France rider and regard these endurance athletes as the ultimate definition of success. But what about the other bunch of riders who made it there and didn’t win? Does that mean they failed?
Many people in my workshops say that they’d just like to ride around town on the weekend. 90% of them will actually be able to do so with confidence when they complete their training. It’s not about going fast, it’s not about going far. It’s simply about doing it. That in itself is a success.
When I launched People on Bicycles I had a whole bunch of unknowns to work with. How many people would join my workshops? Is the location I choose the right one? Would people bring their bicycles? Would the online enrollment platform work? What if there’d be not enough people? Or too many? What if I realised that running the business instead of just being a coach wasn’t for me?
All of these questions, I concluded, I could only sincerely answer if I simply tried. So, my goal was to give it a go, let go of the details and see what would happen. The first twelve months have flown by, I have run courses in all different locations, with different people attending, developed new programs, learned so much about small business development. It’s been exhausting, frustrating (I’m looking at you, website!) and it’s also been so, so much fun!
The best part of looking back is feeling inspired to also look ahead and plan the next twelve months. I’ve got a much better idea of what else to do AND feel motivated to try a whole lot more in the future. Every time I can spark one more person’s love for hopping on a bicycle it’s also feeding my own inner flame!