Mountain cyclist learns life lesson one mile at a time

Hidle with his bike (courtesy).

Hidle with his bike (courtesy).

The idea of working towards a challenging goal is often compared to climbing a mountain. Thirty-five-year-old student Roger Hidle brings that metaphor to life.

Despite becoming a single father, losing his driver’s license, and having to balance a job on top of getting his education, Hidle has remained optimistic about the struggles he faces and hopeful for a better future.

“Everything — all the problems – they’re small when you step back and really look at them and you stop being so angry or so fearful,” Hidle said. “You can’t let that anger or that fear of failure stand in your way — this is a harsh way to put it but if you give up, you’ve lost.”

Following the loss of his license, Hidle started biking everywhere. On average, he bikes between 100 and 150 miles a week.

“The fear of not having a vehicle is irrational,” Hidle said. “People think they have to have a car to go down a block or to get wherever they’re going, but they don’t.”

On top of biking out of necessity, Hidle has completed several major biking treks including a recent 1,100-mile adventure from Wichita to Colorado. It took six days to get there and six to get back.

“I’m trying to experience as much of my potential as I can,” Hidle said. “Last year I did two 200 mile rides, and I’ve ridden 24 hours straight before so I was confident about this one. I knew when I started that I was going to make it, and the most important thing is confidence.”

After biking from Wichita all the way to and through parts of Colorado, Hidle decided to keep his momentum going. Instead of stopping after the 1,100-mile bike ride, he went on to climb to the top of a mountain at San Isabel National Forest.

“It was really humbling, but also very empowering,” Hidle said. “That’s what happens when you conquer a great task.”

As frustrating and difficult as parts of his experience were, Hidle has no plans to stop.

“It changed me,” Hidle said. “I have much more confidence and I’ve started to cut out things like the word ‘try.’ I didn’t get there by thinking I’d try.”

Now, having more biking and climbing experience along with many success stories, Hidle is anxious to add to his growing list of accomplishments.

“My next plan is to try to get to Pueblo, Colorado in 24 hours,” he said. “But I’d also like to try to climb two mountains in one day.”

Shortly after Hidle started going on these trips, he realized how applicable the metaphor of climbing a mountain is to almost anything in life — including education.

“When I’m taking the challenge of climbing a mountain, I’m putting everything into it to get to the top,” Hidle said. “Education is the same way. It gets tougher and tougher. You get tired of it and want to give up, but eventually you get that degree or you meet your goal as long as you don’t stop taking the steps to get there.”


Hidle has one piece of advice for everyone.

“I suggest to everybody at WSU, and anyone really, partner up,” Hidle said. “Save the $150. Do whatever it takes, but go climb a mountain. Don’t call it a dream. Call it reality. You’ll come back so much more confident.”