Friday, March 27, 2015

The Unstoppable March of Time

The one that started it all
 looked something like this one...
It's weird. As I sit here and type this, I think back on the time that has elapsed since I got my first mountain bike, an electric blue Trek 950, a lugged steel, rigid behemoth with the new Mounatin LX grouppo and a new shifting technology called Hyperglide, and it seems like just yesterday. And while there have been many bikes, bike rides, levels of fitness, races and bike trips in between then and now, the majority of the people I ride with have been riding the same length of time and I've known a lot of them that long or longer. I've seen them grow old at the same pace as I have, so when I look at many of those guys (and gals) they look the same to me as they did 20 years ago. Then every once in a while something happens to remind me that I'm not that 25 year old noob, riding their bike with reckless abandon, not giving much thought to the relentless march of time.

As most of you that read this blog probably already know, the master of disaster, the grand poobah of the Dakota Five-O and the Gold Rush Gravel Grinder, Perry Jewett took a BIG spill on his snowboard a few weekends ago, busting his pelvis up pretty good, earning himself a life-flight to Denver for some surgery and a dose or two of someone else's blood. (If you haven't yet, pop on over and sling him some scratch to help cover of these expenses.)
I don't think it's supposed to look
like that

In addition to that one, el Hefe of All Hail The Black Market, Stevil Kinevil, also had a small topple on his two-wheeled fun machine and blew his knee into a billion bits.

While this post isn't necessarily about PJ's or Stevil's woes, they both have something in common with me, beyond their love of bikes, snowboarding, skateboarding and other extreme sports (it pisses me off that Mountain Dew, MTV and Dan Cortese wrecked the use of the word extreme), they are both roughly the same age as me.  When someone my age has a catastrophic injury doing something they love, it causes a person (or me) to stop and reflect on their life, choices and how shit can change in a blink of an eye. It also reminds me that we're not as indestructible as the 25 year old me once thought. The torn quads, the concussions, blown out knees, broken pelvises (pelvi?) on up to classmates that have passed away are the constant, nagging reminder that we are not long for this mortal coil. 

But what's a guy to do? You can either sit by, waiting for the grim reaper to tap you on the shoulder, telling you it's time OR, grab that son-of-a-bitch by the balls and show em who's boss. Sure, I don't
Damn it! There are no balls to grab...
bounce back nearly as fast as that 25-year-old did, which is probably why I thought I was indestructible then.  Mountain bike crashes were nothing, you just jump up, dust yourself off, check the bike to make sure it was still operable and get on and go. Now there's a personal inventory taken and no rush to get back on the bike.  The bike check doesn't come until much later after making sure the body does everything it's supposed to do.

There's the rub.  If those nagging thoughts of not being indestructible enter your head while you're out doing those things that can cause you harm: snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, etc., you'll either become so paralyzed by the fear that you will either not participate in those activities that make you who you are or it will cause hesitation.  And in the words of Perry Jewett, hesitation brings devastation.

So get out and do those things you love, those things that make you, you.  Get rad, ride down a rocky trail, go as fast as you can on your snowboard, push your envelope.  Granted, your envelope might be different than the envelope you were in when you were 25, but that doesn't mean you can't still push it. I think I'll take the afternoon off and do some mountain biking, maybe do some last weekend of the season snowboarding this weekend, and I'll go drink some beer at this fundraiser for Perry for good measure, even if it is only a fraction of what I could drink when I was 25. 


  1. Hi CS!! Thanks for thinking of us ole banged up Dawgs, brother. Great perspective and I'm stoked your stoked to get out. Keep on Keeping ON. Let It Snow, Pedal Power, Don't Fret IT, Shred It. I hope to see you on the trails again soon. Or sooner yet at the local brewery!

    1. You'll be back on your feet before you know it PJ. See ya Sat. night at the brewery!