Never Let Them Get You Down by Ric McNally

Welcome to Thoughts from the Road. Here’s Ric McNally on never letting them get you down…

Ric McNally
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By Ric McNally

Motorcycle tourer and traveller

Ric is an all season, all weather rider with 13 years experience riding throughout Britain and Europe. He’s an avid motorcycle tourer and regularly camps on his bike tours. He’s always up for a few miles, a tour and a coffee with those as equally passionate about the ride. 

You can follow Ric’s adventures here: 

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Never Let Them Get You Down

Recently, my friends and I set ourselves the challenge of completing an endurance ride to support the Royal British Legion’s 2023 Poppy Appeal. 1,000 miles in 24 hours.

Embarking on the RBLR 1,000-mile in 24 hours charity ride, we set out on the challenging South anti-clockwise route from Squires Cafe to Bangor, Haverford West, Barnstaple, Andover, Lowestoft, and back to Squires Cafe. Our goal was clear: complete the gruelling journey within the allotted time frame. Little did we know, the ride would be filled with unexpected encounters and a test of our resilience.

As we rode, we were joined by a lone rider, a middle-aged man seeking companionship on the arduous journey. Embracing the spirit of camaraderie, we welcomed him into our group, offering support and encouragement. However, what transpired was disheartening. Despite our genuine efforts to include him and provide assistance, he became condescending and rude towards us.

He had been riding for four years, but it seemed he had a very particular idea of the sort of bikers that were ‘doing it right’ and unfortunately, we were not amongst them. The routes we had taken, how we followed diversions, how we stretched in the saddle and regarding my last Thoughts From the Road post even how we greeted other bikers on the road particularly irked him. Following several conversations, and watching my companions begin to feel frustrated by his presence, I found myself thinking about all the examples I’d read about where people have been put down, discouraged and even, on occasion mocked for attempting something, anything- and I wondered how it compared to this moment.

In truth, it didn’t. Sure, I’ve been criticised plenty of times but I’ve never been put down to the extent of almost giving up on myself, and I’ve read stories where others have, but the one thing all these people have in common with each other… mental resilience. Something may be hard, others may tell you that you can’t do it, but persistence beats resistance every time.

Undeterred by his behaviour, we resolved to stay focused on the ride and the charitable cause we were supporting. Our determination grew stronger with every mile we conquered, the challenging terrain and fatigue fading into insignificance compared to the importance of the mission.

The long stretches of road tested our endurance, but we pressed on, united by a shared goal and the desire to make a difference. Despite our rude companion, we continued to support one another, relying on the strength of our team and the power of solidarity.

Finally, after 21 hours and 59 minutes of relentless riding, we triumphantly returned to Squires Cafe, having completed the challenge with two hours to spare. We were filled with a mixture of exhaustion, pride, and a sense of accomplishment. The presence of the rude individual served as a reminder that not everyone shares the same values of mutual respect and support. And that’s okay, let them do them, just don’t let others put you off what you want to do.  

We didn’t let it overshadow the true purpose of the ride: raising funds and awareness for a very worthy cause.

As we reflected on our journey, we celebrated not only the physical feat but also the resilience of the human spirit. The challenges we faced, both external and internal, only fuelled our determination to make a positive impact. And in the end, it was our unity and perseverance that carried us across the finish line. Remember, you’ll have plenty of room in your own head for self-doubt, never let anybody else grind you down.

Ric McNally

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9 thoughts on “Never Let Them Get You Down by Ric McNally”

  1. Bravo Zulu chaps.

    Also a reminder that ‘ride your own ride’ is such an important mindset. (Something we drum into our students over here)

    Reply
  2. Hi Ric,
    this a fantastic example on how to get your goals! After I.ve been riding many times in groups, I could study a lot of human behaviour. It.s as countless as people live on this planet, even more.

    When I rode the first time in groups, I adapted the group rules, until I faced more and more strange behaviours (for ex: If one needs fuel, all members take fuel, or don.t overtake members inside the group etc.). Coming to the evening/night rests, I thought it would be finde, if one or 2 are preparing a meal or tea, while others are building up the tents… or making the dishes together after dinner… or not drinking all the beer or wine from others and so on. But I recognized, some are “different” – politely written. 🙂

    Meanwhile, 69 yo, I have a “certain sight” to assess people… I think so. In my mind, 90% of the people are polite and social, but the 10% can spoil your day or trip. Exactly in this moment, it.s federal, to remind the aim, you have. In your case a benefit ride, in others a journey, maybe even a great life experience!

    I had a grin on my face, when I read, that you didn.t dispair at this man and continue your doing! That.s completely the mind set, you need, to endure! I love it, because this is the mirror of my mind, and not to become angry, getting a bad mind inside and having shitty thoughts, that can cause bad situations on the road.

    Thanx for your story, Ric!

    Kind regards, Henry

    Reply
    • Henry,

      Thanks for your comments, it’s good to know that the majority of people riding are polite and actually enjoy doing what they’re doing. Excitement, adventure, kindness.. are actually pretty contagious if you let them in 😆 and why not share?

      Reply
  3. Hello Ric, well done on your ride it must have been a real accomplishment. Shame about the other bloke, but it’s those experiences that make you know you’re doing the right thing and how not to treat others. Great article
    Bill

    Reply
  4. After bad moments it’s really satisfying to know, why you did, like you wanna do!
    When I got more bad moments with others, I became angry and speechless… in former times. Meanwhile I can check up it from an “inner distance” and take it with a grin. Only if things are becoming dangerous or unpretty, I intervene. But mostly I can see it at the first day and draw my personal consequences – talking or leaving.
    Greetings, Henry

    Reply
  5. Glad you got to accomplish your mission and on the whole enjoy it. As we get older we find day trips with a group are fine but we far prefer our own company (we travel 2 up) when touring

    Reply

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