MALCOM GLADWELL MADE IT FAMOUS IN HIS BOOK OUTLIERS, the idea that if you did anything for 10,000 hours you would become great.

What is 10,000 hours?  Is it like fasting for 40 days?  Is it apocryphal?  Does it mean just do it for a long time?

When I was a lad, a crusty old crank took my 9 month old cycling exuberance and sat me down.  Looked me in the eye. Yelled a little too loud. 

You don't know what you are until you've ridden for 3 years!

I'm a road racer.

I doubt it!

I was, but it wasn't my best event.  Three years later I had a pretty good handle on what I could and couldn't win.

That 3 years was made up of an average 10 hours per week.  Roughly1500 hours.

Now, if you were a pro or had no other focus or obligation you might ride 15 or 20 hours a week.  Maybe even 30.  

Most pros have gotten there after 5-10 years of racing.  Or, about 10,000 hours.

That magic isn't in the predictable nature of a bike ride, but in the unpredictable.  The spider-sense develops and we do all these unconscious things learned by experience. 

We've all seen the new rider get the most flats, have the most close calls, take the most tumbles.  We've heard the new rider say things like I was leading the whole race until the end.  

We feel for them, try and teach them, and encourage them to see it through.  And sometimes we are the crusty crank yelling a bit too loud because of our love for the sport and our knowledge that it just takes time to be great.

Count your hours,
make 'em count.


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