Momentum creates momentum
It’s not every day you get to see a herd of bison sitting on the side of the road. We’ve been hearing a lot of stories about the big wood bison herds that are roaming freely in northern British Columbia, and today we got to see them. Signs posted along the road with flashing lights indicate that the herd can be found on a 180-mile stretch of the Alaska Highway. Sightings are everywhere — big bison patties riddle the side of the road, hoof prints in the dirt, and rundown patches of bent over grass indicate the areas the bison have visited.
Wood bison are similar to buffalo, so when you see one on the side of the road you can’t miss it. Their massive bodies tower between seven and eight feet tall and the males can weigh up to one ton. Their black eyes, drooling muzzles, and furry shoulders hunched are a sight to behold from only a few feet away. There is nothing quite like coming in close contact with such a daunting animal; especially while biking by.
This afternoon in the midday sun, we cruised down into a gully only to find a herd of 50-60 bison relaxing and grazing in the ditch. Some of the larger males were sitting on the edge of the road, like a row of brown refrigerator trucks guarding the females and the newly born calves. As our bike gained speed from the descending hill, the males at the edge of the herd caught sight of us and stood up. Acting in an instinctual maneuver based on something coming at you… something strange looking with bright colors and spinning tires, the male bison started to run. That triggered the entire herd to run, and within seconds we had a stampede happening as every animal in the herd began running in unison with us as we sped into their territory.
It was an epic moment as Peter and I careened down the road with the powerhouse pack running alongside us in the ditch. Hoofs pounded the ground, branches were being torn from roots, dust was being kicked up everywhere, and a full-fledged stampede of animals having no idea where they were going was on the move; every animal in the herd was running full-out. It was exhilarating! Who gets to run with a bison herd, matching the speed, thrill, and just the magnitude of their movement?!
It was all so exciting until I could see they were stampeding right toward our motorhome that was packed a few hundred yards up the road. Not knowing how the bison would react to our presence on the bike, our driver packed the RV in close range to the herd in case we needed it. As we came upon the herd and got them running, they were stampeding right toward the motorhome. Both my diver and daughter, who were outside the RV taking the video of us coming down the hill, had to fight for their lives as the bison came charging toward them. In perfect formation, the entire herd swerved at the last minute and changed up the bank and into the trees, missing the RV and trampling the forest instead.
Everyone was screaming, cheering, and high on the breathtaking, ground-shaking moment as the herd tuckered out and eventually stopped running. We slowed down our bike, stopped at the RV, and caught our breath. Our energy was soaring… who is lucky enough to ride alongside an entire bison herd?
More pictures were taken as the big bucks gave us some gnarly stares and perturbed snorts. The tired moms shook their heads in annoyance and went back to grazing and the youngsters whooped up their heels and jumped around excitedly. Peter and I decided we gave those youngsters a run they never had before as you could see the delight they were feeling. It was certainly a moment to remember and a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Looking back, it may not have been the wisest decision to rustle up a bison herd and have them running full speed toward our support crew and my daughters, but in the end everyone was safe, and as the experience unfolded, it showed me that momentum creates momentum. The herd was just sitting there until we came along creating energy, movement, and a forward vibration. That vibration got the animals moving and showed that when you move, others move.
There is a contagious phenomenon that happens when you start moving because your movement and energy inspires others. Your actions and the degree in which you do things propels activity. Most of us love to be around others who are creating momentum. Look at all the sporting events we watch and activities we like to be a part of; it’s because momentum creates more momentum.
The decision you can make is to be the momentum instigator. You can be the one to start the action and rustle up the enthusiasm of others. Your speed, action, energy, and spirited behavior can be the catalyst for others to also start moving. The best part is momentum manifests when you do what you love; because when you love what you do, it’s easy to create massive momentum.