The Houston Chronicle posted an article (one of several) about this year’s MS150. One of the statements in the article is worth discussing further:

And then there was the simple fact that in spite of all the trials — harsh winds, knotted muscles, flat tires — they still managed to accomplish something most people will never do.

The last part of this statement is certainly true. If I talk to anyone who is not a cyclist about the MS150 they are always amazed at the ability to ride such a long distance on a bicycle and the amount of effort it takes. Indeed, it is a difficult physical achievement: 180 miles split across 2 days in anywhere from 5 to 12 hours each day, depending upon the speed of the rider, and somewhere between 2500 and 6000 calories burned in a single day, depending upon the weight and effort of the rider. These are numbers that astound most people.

At the same time, any cyclist who does this type of thing, or any other athlete, knows that events like this are just the beginning of athletic achievement. The more you achieve athletically, the more likely it is that you will find yourself surrounded by people doing things that seem even more amazing and difficult to reach than the achievements you have already reached.

This is the nature of so many things in life, and in no way does it actually diminish the achievement, but it does help place them in a much more reasonable perspective. Yes, riding in a MS150 is hard. Yes, it takes a lot of effort. And yes, it is something most people will never do. But, it is something than many more people could do if they put their minds and energies to it. Cycling especially has a low barrier to entry and almost anyone can get on a bike and slowly work their way up to the level in which they could ride 100 miles or more in a day.

Get to it!