A rider's testimonial from someone who always inspires our XL Biking community with his joy and enthusiasm. Ryan shares his personal thoughts in this touching article.
ALBERTA, Canada, 2021-04-13.
Who or what is wrong?
For most of my life I underestimated myself as a policy. Every day, in every way, I would sell myself short. I think that's why I like cycling so much. Unlike a lot of sports I tried that hurt my self esteem, I don't really have to compare myself to other people when cycling. When I'm out there on the bike it's just me vs my self doubt.
That voice that says that I'm not strong enough. That says I don't have what it takes. That voice tells me I can't. And, that voice doesn't leave me alone off the bike either. Thanks to cycling, I finally have a way to fight back. To prove that voice wrong!
When it tells me I'm not strong enough I think about pedalling up those hills. When it tells me I don't have what it takes, I think about all the rides I finished when I thought I couldn't. When it tells me I can't, I think about how far I've come and how far I plan to go, and I know the voice is wrong.
Being comfortable on a bike and with myself
I've done a lot to feel more comfortable on my bike this summer. I got some new bib shorts from a company that makes plus-size cycling gear. I got a wider saddle from a company that makes bigger seats. And most importantly, I've found a community of other XL cyclists just like me who make me feel more comfortable with myself while I'm on my bike.
Through XL Biking I see so many riders just like me, who are out there smashing their goals and conquering their dreams, all living the life that I had only been dreaming of a few short months ago.
We deserve the support
When I needed bikes that could carry me, they were there. When I needed clothes that could fit me, they were there. When I needed parts that suited me, they were there. And all of that only happens because so many XL bikers came before me. So many XL bikers showed the industry that they were capable and deserving of support. And so many XL Bikers created this space for others to join and feel welcomed in the world of cycling. There is still a long way for the cycling industry to go before everyone truly feels included, but never underestimate just how far we've already come.
I can't tell you how much the confidence i get from cycling does for me. To be able to go up against my greatest enemy in life, my own self doubt, and to be able to prove it wrong over and over again... Well that feeling is life changing!
So thank you for being part of this, for being seen, because not only have I seen you and been inspired to follow in your footsteps, but the cycling industry has seen you too.
Thank you for welcoming me into the world of XL Biking. You've made me feel so much more comfortable on my bike.
For XL Biking.
XL Biking thanks Ryan for sharing his story with us. We hope to inspire more people to begin cycling or start cycling again. We work actively to influence the cycling industry so that riders of all shapes, sizes, abilities or disabilities, of all communities and walks of life will be represented and catered for in the cycling culture. If you wish to support our work, drop us a note, buy on our shop or make a donation to our PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org