FRIDAY FICKS: Train and triumph; cheat and fail

Published on Friday, 21 October 2022 11:30
Written by Carl R. Ficks, Jr.

Friday Ficks

Thirteen. A number immortalized by Johnny Cash in a song of the same name (“Bad luck wind been blowing at my back…Got the number thirteen tattooed on my neck”).

A lucky number for some, like those who get a baker’s dozen when ordering donuts or bagels. An unlucky number for others, like those summer campers in the 1980 slasher movie “Friday the 13th.” Perhaps there’s a good reason many hotels and office buildings jump from Floor 12 straight to Floor 14.

Count the members of the GDBC among the lucky. The GDBC? Also known as the Girl Dad Bike Club, the GDBC is a group of five riders (including me) who, collectively, have 13 daughters. One of the guys in the group ordered cycling jerseys adorned with the acronym on the front. And while none of us have the number 13 tattooed on our respective necks, we do have the names of all 13 daughters gracing the back of the jerseys.

We recently rode 100 long miles together, each of us sporting the GDBC colors. We rode for many reasons, including demonstrating to our daughters what can be accomplished when you put your mind to it.

We shoved off early one Sunday morning and headed north on the New Haven to Northampton Canal Greenway. We cruised through Avon, Simsbury, Granby and Southwick, Massachusetts, at which point we headed east to Suffield, Somers and Ellington, eventually making our way home via a westward route through Windsor Locks. 

We rode in strong, gusty and shifting head winds along with cool temps, courtesy of the remnants of Hurricane Ian. But we did it. And luck had nothing to do with finishing. Conversely, completing the 100-mile ride had everything to do with proper training, hydration, and nutrition. When you add some teamwork (think NASCAR – four riders drafting off the lead rider cutting the wind) as well as a little grit, resilience and a touch of riding skill, you have “mission accomplished.”

Just as a cardiologist once told me you can’t cheat a stress test, you can’t cheat a 100-mile bike ride. And we didn’t. Like so many things in your personal and professional lives, you get out of it what you put into it. We rode many miles and climbed a lot of hills this summer, then we rode and climbed some more, all to prepare for that Sunday morning.

We trained and triumphantly completed the ride. Had we cheated on the training, we would have failed spectacularly. Simple stuff, really. 

Carl Ficks helps busy professionals and their teams get back in the fitness game to reduce stress and increase productivity. He practiced law in New Britain for many years and is a proud member of the Generale Ameglio Society. He has run and cycled thousands of miles and competed in dozens of races, so when you're ready to get back in the game, email him at

Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns, New Britain on Friday, 21 October 2022 11:30. Updated: Friday, 21 October 2022 11:33.