How I find balance — December 2015

How cycling helps Matt Brown release stress and stay balanced.

Matt Brown, 41, DMC Chartered Professional Accountants Inc., Prince George, BC

I’m a longtime member of the Prince George Cycling Club — I’ve been racing for about 20 years, starting with mountain bikes. I have had a few second-place [finishes] this year, and I placed 70th out of 1,040 riders in the 160-km race at the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan Penticton [an annual cycling event in BC’s wine country].

A lot of the members’ kids are at an age where we’re more comfortable having them out on the road. So we’ve begun organizing skill sessions on road bikes for the kids, starting off with the basics, in terms of riding in straight lines and braking; and once they’ve mastered that, taking them on the road to learn safety, basic hand signals and calling out dangers in the road.

The sport has given me so much over the years, and my kids — who are 16, 14, 12 and 10 — have been involved in many activities. These things don’t happen on their own; if you want the activity and the community to thrive, you need to give back. For me, that’s always been the treasurer role but this is a bit more of a passion.

Cycling is a good stress release and a great social activity — I can disconnect and chat with people and with my kids. The sport also translates well in terms of practice: it fosters the ability to know when to push hard and save your energy, set goals and build endurance. During our tax season, you have to pace yourself and push through to the end. To us, April 30 sometimes seems like an actual race finish line!