Just Keep Spinning: an apple grower’s mantra

I’m training for a bike ride. As a cyclist in Tour de Fresh my goal is to raise money for salad bars in schools. We’ll pedal 230 miles through California and climb nearly 10,000 feet. It’s a little intimidating because my training ground is flat Manitoba and the Canadian Prairies aren’t conducive to preparing me for those hills.

During my recent visit to the Okanagan Specialty Fruits office, our founder Neal Carter asked me how it was going. I responded along the lines of “Okay, but there’s this big hill on day three of the ride…”, thinking of my Manitoba flats.

Neal said hills are no worse and advised me to not worry about it.

Disclosure: Neal was a nationally ranked cyclist in his twenties and traveled across North America to compete and he cycled across Northern Africa with his brother, just for fun. While he’s given up his road bike in favor of mountain biking, the man knows cycling.

Despite my awareness of this I must have looked skeptical, because Neal explained it’s all about maintaining cadence (the speed your feet cycle the pedals around) and shared a story about a race in Mexico with a climb more than 15 miles long. He chose a faster gear, focused on cadence, and finished 10 minutes ahead of his next fastest team mate.

‘Just keep spinning’ goes beyond cycling, and represents us as a company. We are agile; we survey our environment and adapt as needed. There’s always a solution. What works on the flats might not work on the hills, so we find another way.

It’s the kind of logic and determination that drives an apple farmer to take a nonbrowning apple from concept to store, even if the process is longer than originally hoped. And it reminds me of another cycling saying: “It’s just a hill, get over it”.

We can achieve anything with critical thinking and determination. I think I found my new cycling mantra.

About Jessica Brady

Jessica hails from the prairie region of Canada and is excited to work as Manager, Industry Relations & Education for a company that combines two of her favorite things: agriculture and innovation.

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