Life lessons on a bike – Press the advantage

On my very first ride with the Pedalyatris, I met Manish and he didn’t let me ride with a low seat setting !! I wanted the assurance of my feet getting planted on the ground as and when I wanted 🙂 but Manish told me and Krishnan very matter of factly that the seat has to be higher and the leg has to extend fully. I grudgingly accepted the idea and we started off on our ride. I was ready to turn back within a few minutes because we climbed up from the GE turn onto the GFR – yeah, you can laugh all you want now, but remember I was returning to cycling after nearly 20 years that day :):).

Anyway, Manish breezed through and then as we turned right on GFR, he just went past quickly and I thought, I can never overtake this guy. Ofcourse over the years, there were many others I couldn’t overtake because I ride at a decent speed and some folks ride at indecent speeds, including Krishnan. But well, cycling is for fun and I am following the PY motto of not competing, right Rajesh ?

On July 1st, Krishnan and I rode with Manish after nearly four years …. And that too in Bangalore, not in our home ground Gurgaon. When we started, I was riding comfortably till we came to a short steady climb and then I started putting in some effort. A little distance into the climb I realised Manish was slightly behind, as he and Krishnan were chatting. I used the opportunity to ride a little faster and ensured that I stayed ahead till we got over the hump. It felt nice, even if it was because Manish wasn’t paying attention :). 

So the lesson I learnt is, life offers you opportunities and small windows open up to get ahead – maybe because the person who is far superior to you in abilities and skill may not be paying attention. Use every such opportunity to get ahead, press the advantage, even if it just makes you feel nice. There is no harm done to anyone and mentally you are able to tell yourself a good story. It’s your personal victory and just helps build confidence. 

Just so everyone knows, Manish is a special man – if only he knew that I wanted to stay ahead in a climb, he would have ridden slow. But you don’t find these kind of people at work or even in life very often, so use the window of opportunity when you get it and the rest of the time, just learn from the more able and better skilled colleague. 

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