Sometimes when things take too long there is a lesson in the waiting as doors open you did not consider and doors you were hoping would be open are slammed shut in your face. There has been a lot of this going around lately.
Having our own bike tour and rental business has been a dream of Debbie and mine for almost ten years.
This dream began when I had just retired after having a stroke and after that ‘event’ I was riding 50km every second day rain, shine or snow. It was fear that then motivated me. I already had been a recreational cyclist since I was thirty three and had used cycling to lose sixty five pounds. I had started using cycling as a tool in therapy with clients and when founding the Sanctuary Foundation used cycling and bike mechanics to reconnect street kids. But now I was seriously cycling every second day.
But I was riding totally in the fright of the flight system. I was riding like a madman, while being chased by my next stroke. After a year or two I was more into the fight of the fight or flight as my body hardened from being that of a recreational cyclist to that of a nut-bar cyclist. I am sure that you know the difference and I am not only talking spandex.
So along the cycling trail of life, where I stumbled from one experience to another with a desperate need to seem them as connected; I put on a few thousand km hatching a plan.
While I was hatching away, I met some members of a local First Nation Band who were looking to see change on their reserve. They asked me to teach my lifeskills workshop on ‘Visualization and Actualization’ on their local reserve. This First Nation people, like most, had found some sense of renewal in the last few decades but was now at a turning point and were interested acquiring new tools for them to take their band into the next stage of their evolution.
Through the workshop hey had decided they were the caretakers of their river and land but now shared this territory with a couple of hundred thousand others, so if they were to do their job and protect the river then they were going to have to become educators. So after brainstorming together we decided on a business plan that would turn the community centre into the classroom, set up a bike rental company and offer field trips to the local School District. In their new education centre they would hold workshops on First Nation History and Salmon Stewardship in the River and then take them on a ride out into their reserve on bikes to actually see what they had just been taught. We hoped to get a half dozen field trips this way but after the first meeting with the district ended up with forty. Over the next full season seventy-five hundred kids went through this project from that school district, as well as dozens of other field trips from other districts as pilots.
After a few years working with this band develop their education business I was anxious to get started on my own. Last year I thought was the time but just as I was getting ready to go, we were rear ended, which totalled our truck. We were both injured, messing up our necks and backs. I had to leave what I was doing with the band and hoped to be strong enough to start my own business in six months or so when I was feeling better. Debbie was also out of commission for a few months as well. When we were ready to go for it my future landlord for our business was not ready, having just been given a year delay. A day later the band asked me to return to stabilize the business for them after a recent election, so I went back for another season.
Fraser River Bike Tours & Rentals waited another year.
So this winter we prepared for an April opening but the city needed to review the buildings plans a number of times. So a May opening was planned. Throw in the inevitable crises, a pipe was found when digging the footings that nobody knew was there, and now you have a June 4/2011 opening, hopefully.
We walk a twisted path towards enlightenment and sometimes it is very hard to distinguish between the plans we make and the events that will actually see them realized. Spirit speaks to spirit, while flesh reaches out to embrace flesh, as this dance takes us through this duality until we return to the singularity.
So in two short weeks, unless an unseen calamity is just around the corner of my perception, Fraser River Bike Tours & Rentals will open its doors as our retirement plans come into fruition.
Come check it out. We will be at the River Market on the Quay boardwalk in New Westminster right on the Fraser River, all according to plan, sort of. Yikes!