When we are kids, we have so many dreams.
We dream about what we want to be, and all the things we will do when we grow up.
We will travel the world! Be an astronaut! Go to the moon!
We believe in all of the possibilities.
The first time we step onto a field, or dive into a pool, we believe that we can go to the Olympics, that we can be a pro-athlete.
There’s no nagging doubts. We just believe.
When we first learn to ride a bike, we feel like we can ride and ride for days and that it’s the most amazing thing ever!
Somewhere along the line though, many of us stop dreaming, and stop believing in our dreams.
We forget to even have big dreams.
We even forget how to dream.
If we do start to dream, our practical side gets in the way and lists all of the reasons why our dreams just aren’t possible.
We may ride our bikes for fitness, for the love of it, and sometimes even set some big cycling goals, but we forget to actually dream.
So, where are you at with your dreams?
Do you have dreams as a cyclist?
As a woman? Do you hold space for them?
Or have you simply forgotten to dream altogether?
In this article, I am going to share with you what big dreams are, and why YOU should have them as a female cyclist.
I don’t care who you are, what you look like, or how old you are. There is NEVER a wrong time for you to dream.
What IS a Big Cycling Dream?
A big cycling dream is something that you almost dare yourself to think is possible.
The kind of dream that came so easy when you were younger, but maybe not so much today.
Now, we are so focused on the day to day, and getting through LIFE, that we totally forget that we ever had dreams. If we think about dreams at all, we wonder if we even SHOULD have dreams.
A big cycling dream is something that lights you up.
When you think about doing this thing on your bike, your heart just about wants to explode from excitement, joy, and maybe even a little bit of fear.
This is something big. Something that you really, truly can just barely imagine having for yourself.
And it’s something that is big for you and you alone. Your big cycling dream is not going to be the same as mine, necessarily, or anyone else.
What is big for me might be small potatoes in your mind! This is something that really, truly is big for YOU.
How is a Big Cycling Dream Different From a Cycling Goal?
A big cycling dream is HUGE.
It is something that you envision for yourself sometime in the future.
It can even be well into the future, say maybe five to ten years from now. Maybe even further!
When we set cycling goals, even big or extraordinary ones, we usually put an end date on them.
For instance, I usually make yearly cycling goals.
To read more about cycling goals, check out my awesome article on setting extraordinary cycling goals here!
At this moment I have an extraordinary cycling goal.
My goal is to complete a solo century this year. I have never done a century ride, and certainly not alone, so this is a very big goal for me.
It’s a goal, but it’s not a dream.
My cycling dream is to do a HUGE cycling tour.
Like bike across the US, or across Europe. I want to put epic miles on my bike, and see amazing sights and scenery.
I want to climb mountains.
I want to ride along the coast.
I want to stop and eat amazing food, drink great wine, and have incredible experiences on my bike.
I legitimately want to feel the wind on my face, and feel the exhilaration of knowing that my own two legs got me to all of these places.
This is what lights me up. This is what creates a little flutter in my chest.
I feel almost lightheaded with the anticipation of one day fulfilling this dream.
I don’t know or care when. I don’t know or care how.
I hope it will be with my family and something we can all do together.
I don’t know any of the details. I don’t need them. Maybe we will take many smaller trips or a couple huge ones. None of this matters.
All that matters is this is a dream. This is MY dream. And I absolutely LOVE my dream.
Why You Should Have a BIG Dream as a Female Cyclist
Now that you know what a big dream is and how it is different from a cycling goal, you may be wondering why you need one.
You may be thinking, “Why do I even NEED a Big Cycling Dream?! I am cool with my goals!!!”
Are you, though? Are you really?
If you are really, truly, fine with where you are at with cycling, and where you are at with life, then maybe you don’t need to have a big dream as a female cyclist.
But, if you are anything like me, you love to have that little nagging pull in the back of your mind that there is always something BIG for you out there.
All you have to do is dream it. Reach for it. Find it.
You should have a big cycling dream because our dreams make us feel GOOD.
When we dream and think about what we want our life to be like five or ten years from now, and really allow ourselves to see the possibilities, it feels amazing.
How Do I Figure Out What My Big Dreams Are?
You figure out what your big dreams are by giving yourself the time and space to actually dream.
Find a quiet moment in the day. Sit down with a favorite notebook and pen, or an open google doc if that’s more your speed.
Ask yourself, “What would I absolutely LOVE to be able to do on my bike?”
Your goals may be related to performance! Maybe you want to compete in a cycling race and get a podium.
Or, maybe your dreams are something more like mine, something more of an experience.
Now, this is important.
Don’t let your brain limit your dreams at all.
Don’t let any nagging thoughts of how your dream is going to become a reality stop you from dreaming.
If you could really, truly, do anything on your bike, what would you do?
Write it down. Type it out.
Just let your brain dump all of your big cycling dreams down on that paper.
Also, your dreams don’t even need to be cycling related! Some of mine are, but many of them aren’t.
When I brainstorm my dreams, I provide space to dream big about anything.
The idea is that you hold space for my dreams, all of them, and you are the one in charge.
You get to decide which dreams you want to focus on right now, and which ones you want to hold onto for later.
How Do I Actually Make My Big Dream a Reality?
When you have a dream of the kind of cyclist you want to be, and the kind of life you want to have, you already have the foundation for making this dream a reality.
You now need to think about the person that you will be, and consider how she will think and feel once she archives her dreams.
Write this down in your notebook/google doc too!
What does the “you” who has her big dream fulfilled think about?
What kinds of decisions does she make? What kinds of actions does she take?
Consider even writing yourself a letter FROM her.
Yes, I know, this may seem a little weird, but what advice would the “you” in the FUTURE give the “you” right NOW about your dreams?
For example, Stacy ten years from now would tell me to not concentrate so much on the “how” of my cycling adventures.
She would tell me that I shouldn’t waste time worrying right now about how much it was all going to cost, how we would all get time off of school and work, or all the logistics of planning the adventure.
Stacy ten years from now would tell me to focus on the belief, on the possibility, and to stop doubting myself and my ability to make it all happen. To focus on the dream and how the dream makes me feel.
She would tell me to be confident that I will figure out all of the details in time. That they aren’t important. What is important is believing the dream is possible.
What if My Big Dream Doesn’t Come True?
At times I have this nagging thought in my mind that’s saying “what if I am setting myself up for failure?”
What if I have these big dreams and they don’t come true? Won’t I just feel bad?
The answer is no. I won’t.
It’s not achieving the dream that feels good. It’s having the dream.
It’s all about believing in the possibility.
Maybe your big dream doesn’t come true right now. Maybe it won’t be true 5 years from now. That does not mean that you have failed your dream.
I remember growing up when my grandmother dreamed of going to Hawaii. She loved this dream.
Now, she didn’t particularly love being on a plane, she didn’t have the money, and there was no way my grandfather would ever go to Hawaii, but still, she loved to dream about the possibility.
The day came when her brother won the lottery, and gave her the money to go to Hawaii.
She never went.
Instead, she kept the money in her drawer, and over time used it for little indulgences…mostly for us kids.
I learned so much about dreams from my Grammy.
Turns out the reality of the dream for her wasn’t important at all.
It was the possibility that lit her up, that kept her going.
She simply loved having the dream.
If you truly believe in the possibility of your coming true, it either will come true, or you will maybe choose a different big dream to pursue.
The most amazing thing about our cycling dreams, or any dream, is that we hold space for them in our hearts.
That we believe that one day it is truly possible.
It may not come true right now, but holding that dream and having that possibility is everything.
There is so much power in saying, and believing, this idea that you don’t know when, where, or how, but one day you are going to ride your bike across the country.
That just feels so GOOD.
So tell me, what is your BIG cycling dream?
Comment below, or keep it private and email me at [email protected]. I can keep a secret!
Even if you don’t tell me, or anyone else, hold that dream close to you.
Believe in it, and believe in the possibility.
I dream of cycling through Iceland and being able to bike pack for adventures though northern Ontario and Quebec 🙂 My goal this year is to complete the Transrockies gravel Royale stage Race with confidence.
Stacy Ann Smith
I love this! Bikepacking looks so amazing. I love that you shared a dream AND a goal too!!! You’ve got this!!!!
My dream has two parts: first to find a way to get more adults on bikes to remember the joy of riding a bike. Second is personal- I want to ride some serious miles, extended trips, on my bike. Around northern WI/MN/MI or wherever I have the opportunity.
Stacy Ann Smith
I love this! It’s wonderful that you have a community goal and a personal goal. I am all about getting more people, especially women, on bikes too!