Archive for October, 2010

Day 145 – 29/05/1999 – Carbon Dale – New York!!!! 106.14km –  5hr 31min 36sec –  avg speed: 19.2kmph –  odometer reading: 9457.1

USA - done and dusted!

USA - done and dusted!

We are here!!!! Boy what a mission it was getting here though… It was such a journey, one of immense discovery spiritually mixed with the exploration of an entirely new culture. This morning two sleepy heads had to drag themselves out of bed for one final ride to complete the US leg. Opening the curtains we were greeted by the rays of sunlight which shone bright on what was to be a nice hot day.  We had planned to approach New York in 2 days, sleeping over closer to the city but the big apple lured us in all the way in 1 day! We dodged cars to get through the whole of New Jersey in one day through memorial weekend traffic. Our trip ended on the George Washington Bridge, our chosen spot to celebrate the achievement of cycling across America in 2 months!

Kissing the George Washington!

Kissing the George Washington!

Finally we had reached our destination! As we overlooked the Hudson river, the huge city of New York stood tall before us. We took in the sight, remembering the days of cycling that we had had up until this point cycling South Africa, Australia and now the US. One thing was left to be done.

We took out the CD player and inserted the CD which had been made famous by the Castle Ad’s. Each of us shared a headphone and pressed play. There standing on the George Washington Bridge, we stood silent wrapped up in the emotion that the song brought to us. There is nothing better than that chorus, the memories of Africa flooding in!

It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

the end of a long long road...

the end of a long long road...

I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

Thank you TOTO!

Two cyclists led us to our point of pickup on the outskirts of the Bronx. We waited, watching interesting down towner’s who walked the streets, played ball, had conversations and listened to their music on their way to wherever.  I soaked in what was a completely new experience of people, different to all the others I had had so far in the US.

Our host arrived. We packed the bikes into his vehicle anticipating the week of rest without the bike. As I stepped into the car a woman who I had not seen, said from where she was standing on the corner….

“Good luck my friend….”



Assumptions must die!

Posted: October 14, 2010 in articles

I have all of a sudden realised the severity of hearing someone say “I assume…”

Honestly, does that not really mean “I don’t know so I am just going to make up a fact and call it the truth…” To assume means you have weighed some options in your head, thought about how legitimate they could be and then made a call.

I hear it a lot.  How often do you say it?

Lately my work has been working with assumptions which are in fact, incorrect. The deal is we will act on what we believe. What we assume we believe.  What I see is years of actions based on assumption upon assumption which has done a great deal to create scenario’s which simply did not need to happen.  This can be damaging. Damaging to relationships where either parties assume. Damaging to organisations where colleagues assume.

Damaging to you. So why do we do it?

In my humble opinion it seems to be that we need information to work with. That makes sense as you can’t work with nothing. But information gathering is, at times, hard work. It may involve research. It may involve asking questions. It may involve having a conversation, all of which take time and energy.

What stops us?

Time in a fast paced environment?
Fear when you feel threatened?
Resentment when you have been hurt?
Low energy when you have been going hard?
Disengagement when you are not enjoying your work?

So what do we do? Kill assumptions.

No matter what, commit to end the game of assuming. Confront whatever it is you need to confront and hunt for information that is correct. Avoid spending time in your head with fictitious stories. If you are feeling something, verify it. Have the conversations. Commit the time. Do what you know you most need to do.

I don’t know about you but I have had many moments of relief when I have found out what is really going on. I have also felt embarrassed when I acted on an assumption and was totally off the mark.

Right now – what are you assuming?
Right now – who do you need to speak to or what do you need to do to find out the facts?
What was the difference between the two?
What will you choose to do now?

Goodbye assumptions!