Ah, springtime, that wonderful time of year when life seems to pick up its pace again and everything starts anew and refreshed. For us cycling nuts, it’s also that exciting time when the new road cycling season gets underway, and classic races like the Strade Bianchi, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix and many others get our hearts racing and our blood pumping.
And, yes, it’s also the time when some of us at OMP try to awaken our inner Elisa Balsamo, Lotte Kopecky, Mathieu Van der Poel, Tom Pidcock or Wout Van Aert, when we reconvene the OMPedalers Club. The club is a group of cycling enthusiasts (some would say ‘freaks’) who, come rain or shine, get together once a week to hit the streets on their ‘steel horses’ (carbon and aluminum are also allowed), exploring the backcountry around the OMP head office for a couple of hours. Admittedly, for some, that awakening of the inner cyclist takes a bit more convincing and, frankly, a lot more effort than for others …
The weekly rides are a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues in a different light, which contributes a lot to making OMP a great place to work. There’s even more to it than that. In many ways, a career at OMP is actually a lot like learning to ride a bicycle. We enjoy it even more as we get better at it. Follow me, will you?
First, you need to find your feet. Use the training wheels to find your balance and get you into the swing of things.
When you feel more at ease, you can venture out onto the road. Take familiar roads at first, a not too challenging course that you can do on your own. Out there, you quickly figure out where the stop signs are. When you fall off, which you will, dust yourself off and carry on.
On subsequent trips, try some shortcuts to get to your destination quicker. When you reach a dead end, call a more experienced buddy to help you back on route.
Eventually, the training wheels come off, and you can ride unaided. A bit wobbly, yes, but steadily. Your trips become longer. Slowly but surely, you feel you’re gaining strength and confidence when you ride.
If in doubt, simply dismount and give it a good hand pump, as Swiss Toni would say. If necessary, there will always be a seasoned companion to help you out.
Before you know it, you’ll be planning the next trip for your team and leading the way. You set the pace yourself, taking new enthusiasts along for their first rides.
That’s more or less what a journey at OMP looks like. It’s fascinating all the way, although I admit it’s not exactly the kind of experience that Swiss Toni referred to in The Fast Show. Let’s talk about that on a future trip, shall we?
BiographyAfter 20 years’ experience in corporate training, Jan is now a technical writer at OMP. Obsessed by work, biking, the tuba, and flowery shirts (not necessarily in that order), he daily transforms complex procedures into highly readable user manuals.