Why I Ride

One of my most prized possession is my R2 Scott Addict.

Basketball legend Bill Walton rides a bike, too. Here is what Mr. Walton wrote in his memoir:

My bike is the most important thing I have. It is my gym, my wheelchair and my church all in one.

I get it.

When interviewed for a Wall Street Journal story (Bill Walton’s All About the Bike), Walton added:

I’m more comfortable on my bike than anything else I do. The longer I ride, the better I feel.

My bike is my medicine. I’m always sick of something or somebody, and I know that when I go out on my bike, my bike makes me happy.

I get it.

Walton conceded he’s not a good cyclist. Neither am I. You don’t have to be. Your bike can still make you happy.

We live in flat Indiana now. The cycling here is easier and less interesting than Colorado (where I lived previously), but it’s still good. The pedals and wheels work the same.

Vera, I’ve taken two bike trips with your dad: one to southern Utah, the other to New Mexico. I recall an 83-mile ride near Taos. They call it the Enchanted Circle. It includes two 9,000+ feet mountain tops. But it was the headwind that day that could have done us in (our group of six riders). Your dad saved us. He took the lead. We drafted behind him for miles and miles. Your dad is a strong rider. And fearless. My memories of our cycling trips together are special (including the time he and the Washington, D.C. detective mounted the elk sculpture in Taos, but that’s a story for another day).

Quite a few motorists don’t like cyclists. And many people are just generally angry these days, especially white men who drive trucks (based solely on my personal cycling experience). Many drivers are distracted, too — talking or texting on their device while driving. I wish it were safer riding the roads — that people would pay closer attention to what they’re doing when they’re behind the wheel — but I don’t worry about it. The alternative is not to ride, and that’s unacceptable.

Mr. Walton said, “[W]hen I go out on my bike, my bike makes me happy.” Me, too.

And so I ride.

 

What Can We Learn from Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens is remarkable. He’s the coach of the Boston Celtics. Before that, he coached the Butler Bulldogs. Some people consider him to be the best basketball coach in America. Why is he held in such high regard? Well, of course, it’s because his teams win. But it’s more than that: it’s because his teams win against teams with superior talent. In other words, his teams win because of him.

Other teams win because of their coach — sometimes. Some teams win in spite of their coach. And some teams lose because of their coach. But Mr. Stevens’ teams log more wins because of their coach than other teams — at least that’s what the evidence suggests. Mr. Stevens is that good.

So what’s the difference? It’s important to know because the skills are probably transferable. In other words, the same qualities are likely to yield similar outstanding performance in other arenas, whether they be in business or nonprofits.

From what I’ve been able to discern, here are some of the keys to Mr. Stevens’ success: Continue reading

Change Is To Be Avoided at All Cost

I’m fascinated by people’s resistance to change. I suppose my fascination stems from my fondness for change. I used to not appreciate how different I am from the norm. But I finally got it. I finally understand humans’ deep resistance to change.

I suppose there’s probably an evolutionary explanation. Not that it matters. An understanding of its roots wouldn’t change this phenomenon. We simply have to deal with it, in real time.

One of the areas where our resistance to change is most profound, and most damaging to our kids, concerns starting times for our kids’ schools. Continue reading