Friday, July 30, 2010

I am nothing more than a damn hamster

I have a whole report for our second annual "Short Way Down" trip started but the trip and my normal morning rides have made me realize something that I need to get off my chest first. I am a hamster. And not because I could possibly resemble a hamster, being fat and furry, but because of what I am going to explain. I am a fucking hamster and no more.

We, as cyclists, dream and live for those long, wandering rides that take us to little towns, out of the way canyons or mountain tops. We want to use our bikes to break the surly bonds of our earth and journey to the heavens.

That's what we think we do. And occasionally we do. But 99% of the time 99% of us just ride the same old stuff day in and day out. We become stuck in a rut that has grabbed our wheels and won't let go. This became painfully obvious to me yesterday when I was riding my normal morning loop. (As I was typing that, I accidentally typed "mourning" as opposed to morning, but in this case the first might have been more appropriate.) I ride basically in a big lollipop shaped loop. Not any different than a hamster. Pedaling my ass off to go nowhere.

Sure, I feel better when I ride. I get physically stronger. I get mentally stronger, happier and healthier. But, a bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever created by man. It uses the least amount of energy of any form of propulsion compared to either cars or walking. (OK, well maybe I heard that once, maybe it's bullshit, but it does sound really good.) We could, or better yet, should use them to go places we've never been. Yet we use bicycles to do nothing more than ride in loops.

Having real responsibilities of a house, family, pets, work, bills, etc., make those 1% journeys not possible except for that 1% of the time. When we have that 1% of time to go do those journeys we need to take that opportunity by the balls and go for it, like I did last weekend. Those trips are about both the journey and the destination. The journey is a beautiful, wandering experience, seeing and feeling things that most don't get to. The destination isn't the end of the trip but the beginning of an accomplishment. But, and this is a big but, when we do get that 1% of time, we need to be ready to take advantage of it.

Riding my bike like a hamster in a wheel gets me ready for those 1% times. It does make me stronger, both mentally and physically. It makes me know that when I am 15 miles from the final destination of my trip and it is 95 degrees outside and I'm bucking a headwind I can make it to the end. Instead of a sufferfest, making the journey hurt and the destination the only goal, being a hamster makes the 1% time more enjoyable.

I am looking forward to my next morning ride. I am a hamster damn it. A big, fat, furry happy hamster!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I wonder if I could pack more into my life...

So much crap has transpired since my last post, I can barely comprehend it, which is also why I haven't posted anything in a while. Where do I begin?

Well, as I happened to mention, my family was in Florida. Last Thursday I went to Colorado (Denver to be specific) to pick them up from the airport and spend a weekend with the rest of my family and get some riding in with some old friends.

I made it to DIA at the right time to pick up my wife and son, leaving SD just 6 hours prior to their plane's landing. No room for error or breakdowns...flying on faith in mechanical things for me for sure. It was great to see them after nearly 2 weeks. The moment of initially seeing them in the airport was the last calm moment we had for the next 3 1/2 days. Blasting around Colorado, packing as much into each day was the name of the game.

Friday saw us leave for Colorado Springs at 9 am and not return to my brother's house until 11:15 that night via a shitty, twisty mountain road that set my nerves on edge. But the day was great, with me riding Limbaugh Canyon/Mt. Hermann with Bobki and Satellite (kinda), getting lost, trespassing on someone's property, getting chased by their dogs and finally running into a tree. A great ride.

Without getting into the minutia, we returned home late afternoon on Sunday (when does afternoon end and evening begin? I never know). Then another whirlwind began...preparing for our 2nd annual Short Way Down trip. As a matter of fact, I sit here typing this with jerky on the smoker at 6 am and I should be finishing my packing. Remember the PROcrastination? Yeah, I thought so.

Last, but certainly not least, our Teamfubar X stickers dropped this last week. If you want one (or 12) let me know. I've got about 150 of these left after doling out 100 or so of them. We need to take the TF logo world wide!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fast guys, a formerly fast guy and gettin' high.

Riding with fast guys. There is this stupid assed theory that if you ride with guys faster than you, you'll get faster. Well, I've been riding with guys faster than me for quite a while now and I don't really think I'm a bit faster than I was before, so I'm calling bullshit on this original theory. But I have a discovered a part of this theory that is missing that henceforth will be known as the Fubar Postulate. The Fubar Postulate will read as: When a velocipede pilot (also known as a cyclist) of inferior velocity is engaged in improving said velocity the "cyclist" shall pedal in front of other "cyclists" that are of superior velocity when compared to the "cyclist trying" to improve their velocity, thusly being forced to pedal faster and improve his/her velocity. (What the fuck? I just had to correct this as when I read it, it was jibberish, all discombobulated in the bits of the interweb. Sorry for any confusion. No I wasn't drunk when I originally posted it.)

We've ridden some stuff that I knew and the others didn't really know so well, so I had to lead the ride most of the way. With guys breathing down your neck, you push yourself harder than if you see them ahead of you pulling away slightly. Which is also why I didn't wear my heart rate monitor. I knew I'd be in the front of the pack and I really didn't want to know when my fucking heart was going to explode.

Speaking of riding in front of fast guys...right now, the Super Bowl of cycling is taking place right now in the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong, the American racer with the most Tour wins in history (7) is one week in and, well, lets say he isn't having the best week of his life.

After 3 years out of the racing lime-light in a quasi-retirement, Lance decided to come back to pro cycling and give the Tour another shot. And for all the good luck he's had in the past (keeping out of crashes, being in the right spot when break-away's happen) he's got all the bad luck anyone could ask for in this year's version. Who knows, maybe he doped in the past as Floyd said, and isn't anymore, maybe it is just his age rearing its ugly head or maybe his luck has just run out. But, I've got an idea. He should practice the Fubar Postulate. Get his ass in front of the other fastest guys and peg it there for the next two weeks.

I realize hindsight is 20/20, but maybe Lance shouldn't have come back this year. Like many others that have come back out of retirement to get one more shot at glory (Jordan at the Wizards, Muhammed Ali, etc.) it reminds you that first of all, they were great when they were at the peak of their careers, second of all, they are human and finally, it is kinda sad that they just can't let go of their glory days. Lance has got a LOT of stuff to do outside of pro cycling, he should just go do that. Or even better, he should take some magic mushrooms like this guy clearly has.

I realize this video has become completely viral this last week, so I'm sure you've seen it (hell, I've watched it about 5 times and don't get sick of it), but I had to post it too. Kids, this video should be a warning to all you out there that taking hallucinogenic drugs should not become part of your lifestyle. Whoa, what does it mean? Double rainbow indeed...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

After 36 hours I'm F*#@IN' bored!

My wife and son left for Florida on Sunday and I am already bored. I know many people out there would relish some time alone. And I will get some stuff done around the house that I wouldn't be able to get done if they were here, but I am still bored so I'll probably end up passing that bored feeling along to you via this little lame write-up.

Speaking of my wife, I have to tell you (and in a weird way, her) how it usually goes when she reads the stuff I write. She usually gives me a one sentence review. She'll say "Your post today was funny" or "Your post today was kind of negative." Yesterday she said, "Your blog today was very patriotic." To which I replied "Oh, you read it? (actually, I am always surprised when she reads it) What about the post before that? I thought it was funny, it made me laugh when I was writing it." To which she replied "No. It said fuck too many times in it. If there are two fucks in one sentence, it loses me." Huh? Really? It loses her? Shit, I don't want to lose 11% of my readers. I think the reason it loses her is two fold. First it's because she doesn't know who could be reading this and is worried that I'll offend someone and second, she is a lot damn smarter than me so she can express herself when she wants without resorting to adolescent behavior or language and I can't. She is a self-proclaimed pirate when our son isn't around and we're in the right company so she can drop F-Bombs as well as anyone, but I guess I won't be putting fuck more than once per sentence. Fuck. See...two sentences!

Actually I've got some great riding planned for the upcoming week and it is nice that I won't feel guilty about going and not spending time with our son, but it still isn't the same with them not around. I will get weird before the 10 days are up, talking to the dog, not going to bed when I should, roaming around the house with no clothes on, you know...weird.

When they get back my son and I are going to be going on our second annual Short Way Down ride, riding the Mickelson Trail in two days, but I am concerned that he hasn't been on the tandem much this year and it will be tough for him but he is ready to go. He actually wants to do it in MORE days so we can camp longer, which would be cool, but we'll do a 2 day ride first to see how it goes.

Well, I guess I've bored you enough for one day. If you are out and about and drive by my house, swing in and say hi. On second thought, call first. I should put some clothes on.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Have a Happy Fourth of July!

On this 4th of July weekend, I hope that everyone can put aside their differences and know that no matter what we live in the greatest country that the world has ever known.

You know, 234 years ago, a lot of people that had a lot of radically differing points of view (Jefferson and Adams for example) were able to get together, putting aside their differences, to break away from the tyranny of England and create the United States.

Maybe we, in this country, could put those differences away and realize that we're all Americans. We get so caught up in the Democrat v. Republican, Christian v. Secular, Jew v. Muslim, American League v. National League, Star Wars v. Star Trek, Road v. Mountain, Rich v. Poor, that we forget that when we go to another country, we're seen as an American, not any of these things. A lot of these people are jealous of us because we come from the land of more than we'll ever need.

I hope you all get to eat some kind of animal burned on the grill, drink too much beer, explode something big, and hang out and have fun with family and friends. But mostly I hope you ride your road bike on a dirt road, ride your mountain bike on a sidewalk, but mostly have a fun 4th!