UPDATED December 21, 2021

BY Henry Gold

IN Founder's Thoughts

no comments

UPDATED December 21, 2021

BY Henry Gold

IN Founder's Thoughts

no comments

Cognitive Flexibility, The 2022 TDA Tour Calendar & Seizing The Opportunity


One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall,
The next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all

– Bruce Cockburn

Our Editor in Chief sent me this email a few days ago:

Do you think you can come up with a blog looking back at the past year? By Friday?
By Friday?
OK, Monday is fine as well”, he writes back.
I don’t know. I will try. I need a lead of some kind,” I answer.
“How about a riff on the blog you wrote last December, ‘After a year of taking a break what is on your bucket list?’

Well Michael, I said to myself, how about changing the name to ‘After two years of taking a break what is on your bucket list? and simply reprinting the blog. The point of the piece, or at least my goal, was to get the reader, in an entertaining way to read the final paragraph. “Now that you have had a good long time to think of what you would like to do, at least when it comes to cycling, once the curtain of COVID-19 rises, what is on your bucket list? If you have not made up your mind, please do check our schedule – this our shot for 2021. These are the tours we have chosen that we believe are most likely to run. Some of these tours may miss, while others we expect to hit their mark. We have lots of reasons to be hopeful for next year. One more thing. There is a Latin Aphorism – ‘Carpe Diem – Seize the Day’. Grab the opportunity when you have it, as none of us knows what the future brings.

The 2021 Great American Roadtrip finish Line, Savannah, Georgia

Well, 2021 has passed and we all know what happened. From the many trips we had on our menu, finally in September we managed to get two trips off the ground – The Trans Europa and The Great American Roadtrip and another one, the Pura Vida which just finished in Costa Rica. It felt great to see a bunch of riders seizing the opportunity! And now, just as things were looking up, with a couple of more tours set to begin in February (Pura Vida and Tour d’Afrique 2022), it feels as if we all threw the dice, rolled snake eyes and are back to square one. It was Alexander Pope who wrote these memorable words:

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

2021 Trans-Europa riders at the start in Ljubliana, Slovenia

So, what is to come in 2022? Sometime in the middle of this year a headline caught my attention – ‘Cognitive Flexibility’ Is More Important Than IQ for Success. Stories on this subject have since circulated in the media in various forms. The magazine, Conversation, defined Cognitive Flexibility as, “a skill that enables us to switch between different concepts, or to adapt behaviour to achieve goals in a novel or changing environment.” The article went on to say, “Some people remain rigid and stick to the original plan, despite the delay. More flexible people adapt to the unexpected event and problem-solve to find a solution.

2021 Pura Vida riders at the start in San Jose, Costa Rica

I do not know what the solution to the COVID crisis is but I do know that over the last 20 years many have questioned my, and our company’s, IQ when they saw what we were planning. However, no one has accused us of not having Cognitive Flexibility or perhaps just flexibility. And so, we head into 2022, and our schedule full of great tours…again. Hopefully, some will happen, and yes, some maybe cancelled. However – my advice and this is not a riff – would be the same as a year ago. Grab the opportunity when you have it, as none of us knows what the future brings. On that I am not flexible. To quote the Economist, “as 2022 draws near, it is time to face the world’s predictable unpredictability. The pattern for the rest of the 2020s is not the familiar routine of the pre-covid years, but the turmoil and bewilderment of the pandemic era. The new normal is already here.” And it is up to us to choose how to deal with it.

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