This is a picture of the annual bike expo I attend. In recalling the first time I attended I assumed it was just row after row of bicycles you could buy. At that point I was beginning my passion for the sport. Soon I discovered there is a world inside of this sport. Inside the expo, which happens to take place at the Wisconsin state fair my favorite place to be, there are stands for different charity rides, stands for different bicycle shops, magazines relating to the sport, even clothing and accessories.
- Here are a few things that make the bike expo something I look forward to each and every year. First, it happens just as the weather is starting to warm up. Despite living in a state that feels like it is winter eleven and a half months a year, I am really a sunshine and warm weather person. Seeing all this fabulous equipment designed to be used in warmer temperatures lifts my spirits and takes my thoughts to wonderful rides out in nature. Mini mental vacations are something I advocate regularly, and this provides a good one.
In addition it motivates me to return to the sport. Something for the last 2 years I have been a bit lax in. this spring finds me in the best shape I have been in for almost 10 years. I did it using several of the tips I share on this website, so I am looking forward to getting on my bicycle and exploring my neighborhood and the trails in it. This makes the thought of getting in better shape actually exciting and something to look forward to.
A third thing I enjoy is meeting people involved in the sport. They have people who give demonstrations on everything from how to change your bicycle tires, to healthy eating. You meet people who share different trails you never knew existed, some are even close to home! You can easily hear recommendations on everyone’s favorite things to drink, trails to ride, places to visit and a million other areas involved directly, or indirectly with cycling.
What is the point of all of this? How do I use my passion for a bicycle expo to live an amazing life, and more importantly, how can it help you do the same? Allow me to share with you. During the winter my sense of positivity can be a bit challenged. Some days it can seem the temperature will never be above freezing and I will never see the color green again. Knowing this about myself I try several things to help myself. This year I took a trip to Las Vegas with my beautiful lady. I often visit the local Horticultural exhibit here which is filled with living plants 365 days a year. In addition I try to give myself things to look forward to. I also like to take that one step further and examine the reasons I have to look forward to them. This is a step that takes life from great to phenomenal. Instead of just ‘looking forward to the bike expo’ I think about trails I would like to learn about, perhaps a new shirt or biking jersey I would like to purchase. I take stock of any bike parts I may need.
Thinking of all the little things involved in a pleasurable experience grows that feeling. It also can take it from a single day or weekend into a week, or even longer. My greatest example is the afore mentioned Wisconsin state fair. It is my single favorite thing to attend each and every year. Anyone who knows me remotely well, understands I begin planning for the next year the day after the current year fair ends. What did I not get to see? Was there a food I wanted to try? Something I wanted to purchase? Then right about now discount tickets go on sale. I make going to purchase them a special day. Around June, the preview book comes out. I like to sit down and learn what things are new and what I am going to look forward to doing. I have state fair shirts I wear that remind me of the good times to come as well. There is even more, but you can see how I have turned a once a year event into a virtual all year celebration.
So I encourage you to come up with a few things to look forward to. We will get into that a little more tomorrow, but start to come up with a few ideas now. Even think of ones you already have. The holidays maybe? Family vacation? Start to examine all of the fun you have during these events and how you can begin to expand them to enjoy all year long? Maybe sit down with your spouse to look at fun vacation destinations? Look at pictures from vacations past and discuss the new fun things you will do this year!
Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.