Sunday, March 27, 2011
Guinness, Will You Count Again?
With the Houston skyline in my view I finally arrived and, after a couple wrong turns, found the event thanks to the nearly one thousand people walking around in the same blue and white cycling shirts and a sea of spin bikes parked on the outdoor plaza as well as the upstairs plaza of one of the hotels. I signed in and received my shirt and quickly headed inside to slip into it, eager to lay claim to my bike as I watched the plaza filling up. When I found a bike I started a few conversation with some of the people around me who were just as excited as I was to be part of this event. The weather was perfect and the people watching was fun. Costumes, such as the guys wearing seventies afro wigs or the man clad as a viking, were seen here and there and some parents brought there younger kids and made it a family event.
Finally, with bikes filled and a buzz filling the air, the DJ brought the place to life with, Lets Get it Started by The Black Eyed Peas and the place erupted. And for the next two hours we pedaled and sweat like we had jumped into a pool. Fortunately there were staffers passing out bottles of water and bananas for anyone in need. On prompts from the ten instructors spread around the event, we were up, then down, then tightening our wheels to make it harder to pedal, then back up again before sitting back down. This routine went on the entire time but the music and instructors were nothing but great and made the time go by quickly.
And so, after two painstaking hours, the news was out. News I wasn't anticipating and that was difficult to imagine looking out at the swarm of participants. We fell short of the record by a little over a hundred people. But what's interesting is that it really didn't make much of a difference to those who participated. We were all part of something special that brought so many people together. Shoppers at the outdoor mall stopped and watched with smiles, walking back and forth taking pictures or dancing to the music. People who had never met before were hugging and shaking hands, taking pictures together as news cameras and photographers captured the moments. And as much as I wanted to get that record, the experience was once in a lifetime and I was thrilled to be a part of it. And so, while I still have that item on my bucket list, I will search for another opportunity but treasure the experiences that I find as I search.