I Just Biked 200-Miles In One Day – Here's How You Can Accomplish Your Goals Too (Hint: It’s 90% Mental)
Author: Adam Bratton
Read Time: 4 mins
I’ll start by being blunt … Stop making excuses! You are, have been, and will continue to be, way more capable than you think you are. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and more. Whatever barriers you perceive to have are just that, perceptions. Perceptions that you can overcome. Human Powered Movement unapologetically leans into the concept of facilitating and supporting great human powered experiences across the physical/mental spectrum. Our goal is to inspire you along your own adventure journey and yes, sometimes that includes rah-rah speeches just like this! Let me tell you how I recently, and finally, reached a longtime distance goal in my own life, how it motivated me to share this experience, and how you can accomplish your own goals.
17 years ago, “The Double Down” was the brainchild of Ilan Paltrow of knucklehead idea fame, serial entrepreneur of bike and outdoor gear shops in the Charlotte, NC area, and mountain top lodges in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The concept was simple … rally a group of friends to annually ride bikes from Charlotte, NC to Charleston, SC one day, then run the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K the next**. The name “Double Down” had two meanings, a double century distance ride (200+ miles) and, of course, double the human-powered sports.
I learned of this seemingly outrageous idea in early 2013 from co-workers during my time at Whitewater and was immediately intrigued but highly intimidated by the eye-popping 200-mile distance in a single day. I hadn’t even come close to notching a 100-mile ride on my proverbial cycling belt at that point, but I easily tossed this ride on the mental bucket list and more easily kept finding excuses to not participate year after year.
I flirted with the idea in 2014, and eventually bailed for some likely lame reason. Same thing in 2015. In 2016 we had our first child which allowed for a more “justifiable” excuse. There was probably a “work conflict” in 2017. Another kiddo joined the fam in 2018, and if I had to guess another “schedule conflict” in 2019. As we know, 2020, 2021 and 2022 was a blur for everyone and I remember defaulting to the “I’m so busy” excuse while building Human Powered Movement and the parent marketing agency, MJ Bratton.
The “I’m so busy” mentality is one of my big pet peeves. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we quickly realize this mentality is just another excuse. Guess what, we’re all busy. That’s life. Figure out what's a priority, deal with it, and move on.
In early 2023, I knew that I needed to keep myself accountable, stop making excuses, and finally accomplish a goal that had been collecting dust for the past 10 years. At this stage, 100-mile rides are much more attainable and the farthest I’d ridden in a single day was 150 (See: What is the Natchez Trace Parkway?) so I was in a better position to physically reach the 200-mile mark. More importantly, however, I had been developing my mental endurance over the years which was key in hitting the 200+ mile mark during The Double Down on June 3 of this year.
No, this is not a trip recap style write up (I did include some pictures and the Strava link below for context) but rather an encouraging nudge to embrace setting and reaching goals that might initially seem farfetched. I won’t deny that proper training, planning, nutrition, and gear along with ideal weather will take you a long way. But this ride, my new distance PR, further reinforced my steadfast belief that above and beyond the physical prep, tossing excuses aside and truly committing to a goal and mentally knowing that you will achieve it is vital to accomplishing our goals.
Our brains are organs, not muscles, but it is by far the strongest part of the human body. In the same way that we train our bodies over time, we can also train our minds. I curiously started with short rides to build a physical and mental foundation and have increasingly stacked mental blocks ever since.
The beautiful thing about our minds is that it can carry us to our goals across whatever sport gets you jazzed ... riding, running, paddling, skiing, or whatever. Stop making excuses and start working towards that far flung goal that’s been looming over you. It likely won’t happen overnight, but the feeling of accomplishing something meaningful won’t dissapear overnight either.
**The ending location and original format (running on day #2) has changed post-covid, but the ride absolutely lives on!
About the Author:
Adam Bratton is the Founder and Head Enabler at Human Powered Movement. He grew up in the rural rolling mountains of North Central PA and was either playing in the creeks and streams or whatever sport was in season. After a college football career at William & Mary, he moved to Virginia Beach, VA and got into running and surfing. A move to Charlotte, NC for grad school stoked his interest in non-traditional sports after overseeing Events, Sponsorship and Marketing at Whitewater for 9 years These days, he shares his active pursuits with his wife (Kristi) and two boys (Miles & Maximus) and the greater HPM community to inspire more activity in people's lives.
Journal - I Just Biked 200-Miles In One Day – Here's How You Can Accomplish Your Goals Too (Hint: It’s 90% Mental)
Human Powered Journal
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Adam Bratton is the Founder and Head Enabler at Human Powered Movement.
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