Why Cycling Is A Lot Like Entrepreneurship

This past season I completed four sprint triathlons after a friend completed his Ironman journey. Beyond finding a sport made for entrepreneurs that I enjoy, I now know why all entrepreneurs should cycle.

  • Unknown roads with hills
    Even with GPS, you will end up on roads you have never been on and turn corners to see hills that just hurt to go up, which is very similar to the entrepreneurial journey. You might even expect the hill that is coming, but on that day, for some reason, it is just more difficult than the last. You might find the next week that you fly up that hill. As entrepreneurs we travel down roads all the time that we have never been down and need to figure out when to turn to get back on course or when to push further away from the course. The experience on a bike is just like this because it forces you to confront physical limitations that translate into the same kinds you face in business.
  • Flat tires and limited tools
    Shit happens, but then you need to figure out how to adapt quickly with limited or the wrong types of tools. It could be a flat tire or a shifter breaking and you are 30 miles away from your start—whatever the situation, you need to figure it out and get going again. This happens all the time as entrepreneurs, from servers going down to customers leaving; no matter what the obstacles, you figure it out and keep going.
  • Unpredictable drivers
    Until you are on a bike, you never realize how stupid and careless drivers can be to cyclists. From turning in front of you to beeping when they pass, it is nothing you can plan for or expect, it can throw you for a loop. Sound familiar as an entrepreneur? Competitors make changes that effect you, market conditions change without warning, and lots more.
  • Focused time
    The disease that is entrepreneurship (and yes, it’s a disease) makes for very busy lives; I know from experience that it is impossible to get focused time other than in the shower. Riding a bike for 40 miles gives you the opportunity to put down the phone and email and concentrate on riding. When you get away from these time- and energy-sucking activities, that’s when you’ll get the great big ideas that change the world and all that good stuff.

The rest is all a bonus: get outdoors, see amazing things that would pass you by in a car, and great exercise. Go get a bike today, venture out to places you might not otherwise and enjoy life.