A couple of people have asked me why I posted about the first tour if it was such a disaster. Here’s the main reason: Honesty. I have nothing to hide. I will not chalk up every tour as a success if it wasn’t, nor will I “fake it til I make it” as some folks have suggested. Life is too short to hide from the light.
But, ultimately, I think it’s important to demonstrate that A. I don’t have it all figured out. B. These are the things that can and do sometimes happen on tour. And, C. Dealing with the public is sometimes difficult. You’d better be ready.
We all have to start somewhere. Is a roofer an expert on day one of his job? No. Do people immediately become good at something by starting to do it? No. It’s a process. People need time to learn. Why not document the pains and pleasures of this process? Why hide? I am all about being real. This industry takes strength, honesty, flexibility, tenacity, and courage. It’s not for wimps, nor is it for people who cannot be honest with themselves or others.
Is there any mystery to why there aren’t droves of bike touring companies out there? No. No mystery. People fall in love with the idea, the fantasy of it. Then, they get a a little look at the details and realize that it’s hard, time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes thankless work. It taps every ounce of one’s talent, wherewithal, tenacity, organization, and communication skills. Touring is unbelievably difficult and extremely low-paying (compared to the hours that go into it), but when it goes well, when you are making the heart connections with others, it’s deeply rewarding, soul-satisfying, and worth the struggles.
Is there a difference of opinion on how the tour went? Certainly. Is there any way to change it? No. But, the least I can do is be honest about what happened and own up to where I fell short, celebrate my successes, no matter how small, and own the process. I did all of that. Honesty is all I have as a business person and a human being. If that makes people uncomfortable, not much I can do about it.
And, if anyone else thinks that they can do better, come and try it! I would applaud them, seriously, and welcome them to the table. If you can do better than me, hooray! I would LOVE that. Why? Because you would be advancing female ridership, camaraderie, health, and well-being. You would be doing your part to ensure that women come to the sport, love it, and live richer, deeper lives as a result. You would be a shining example of leading women toward their inherent wholeness, their worth.
Am I worried about competition? NOT ONE BIT! I welcome anyone who brings other women into the biker fold and anyone who helps to enrich women’s lives in a meaningful way. If you do, you can count me first in your Fan Club. There is enough for all of us. There is room for all of us. There is enough to go around. I will maintain this to the day I die. We don’t have to let hurt or frustration or other people’s negative behaviors derail our dreams. We don’t have to give up. We don’t have to succumb to negativity. We don’t have to blame others. We can take responsibility. We have a choice. Always.
My head is on straight. My heart is in the right place. I know this. I want to help biker chicks experience adventure, make connections and friendships, have fun, see the country, and celebrate their humanity and freedom. Yes, I’m learning and growing, like everyone else; and, yes, it’s uncomfortable at times, but I’m not afraid to stand up to scrutiny or hardship. And, I’m not afraid to talk about the struggles. This is real. And, it’s okay to be real. Let’s ride! : )