Two summers ago I became a cyclist. After years of riding on a mid-grade steel commuter, I bought my first all-carbon fiber bike; spent most of my time in spandex; perfected the art of drinking electrolyte-enhanced water from the bottle nestled in my carbon water cages while riding; and considered the sound of clipping into my road pedals to be the most fulfilling, soothing, and exciting sound imaginable.
I traded the gentle "ding" of a bell for the shouting of an all-too-frequent and somewhat patronizing "on your left" as I whizzed past other riders, whom I considered to be worthy of competition only if outfitted as I was and riding a bike of equal value and weight. I wore my chain link grease tattoo and various bruises from crashes like badges of honor, yelled at unaware drivers, and considered anything under 60 miles not to be a "real ride."
And I'm not gonna lie, it was awesome.
Cycling, for me, is my lifeline, the blood that courses through my veins. In the last year, however, I've shifted gears.
My husband, an avid cycler as well, rides an old classic Rivendell Atlantis touring bike. Or, on a particularly long or hilly ride, a Soma Stanyan, black with chrome lugs. His bike is a work of art, full of gadgets, lights, and classy flare. He is part of a different bike culture -- not a racer, not a commuter, not a distance rider, not a street biker, but part of his own culture where he rides for the pure love of it, and not at all in an attempt to gain some street cred (even though he seems to get more than me when we ride together).
This summer, I will learn a lesson from my husband. I will pay attention to what I love about cycling. I will go back to the basics. I will ride just to ride, without paying attention to my cadence and MPH. I will stop for a snow cone. Most importantly, I will remember that every ride is the perfect ride.
It's easy as a recruiter to get caught up in what kinds of jobs you recruit for, wanting "the hunt" of a hard skill set or the payoff of a big fill. To work only for the best companies, recruiting the most cutting-edge skill sets, using the best tools. But at the end of the day, the thrill isn't about how quickly you filled it, how hard it was to find, or how much street cred you got. The reward is in connecting the right people to the right jobs. The thrill is in the ride itself. And it's one heck of a ride.