Artist Todd Simmler, Bend Oregon
As they say at the West Virginia Surf Report,
I have to lower my nuts into the vise for a few hours this morning.
in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this photograph.
You better, it’s art bitch!
A few hours later-
Wow, for the last couple of weeks work has been quiet, and I was lulled into a dream in which I rode my bike, drank beer, played darts, and wrote this, this, whatever it is.
I should have been tipped off by the conspicuous lack of sponsorship money.
Not a dime from Jamis, zero from Guiness. Of course I’m still hopeful that Sam Adam’s Light will want to get in on the act once they realize the extent of the mutation I’m undergoing with their assistance, but for now I have to work.
It seems like work and life are drawing the whole crew out of our manchild fantasy of chains slapping stays, conferencing with coach out on the trail, and answering the questions When do you want to ride? and Where do you want to ride? with the stock answers of Whenever! and
Sasquatch expects me to react with gloom and doom, fire and brimstone, hell and damnation, and I predictably have. I am drawn to the half-empty glass like a moth to a flame. I’m sure that he’s right. The dust will settle, summer routines will evolve, and life in Rideville will be happy once again. Being a single man, who works from home, destined for a lonely pauper’s grave, I have more time to ride, and to wax quixotic about my heroic exploits on the trails of North Florida, yet still, even I have to work.
I don’t mind really, just put a little sugar on the bit please.
See you on the trails, Juancho
OK, but it’s recreation, right? So some days you want to push it as close to 100 percent as you can, ’cause that’s what gets your rocks off that day (and you can go into hibernation that evening instead of being a bon vivant). Other days you want to take in the scenery or chat with your buds, especially that loafer who’s used to bringing up the rear. On those days, I’m what John Lennon would have called a Day Tripper.
I’m less gonzo about almost everything than I was at 18. Taking up this sport in middle age, I may have entirely skipped the phase of always riding at full throttle. Or maybe it’s a matter of personality.
Does this perspective have a place in the Big Ring?
Above comment was in response to “Greatest Upgrade,” several posts back.
Of course it has a place in the Circus, that’s why it’s a circus. There are the dancing bears, the high wire acts, the sideshow freaks, and of course the clowns. I like to think we all take our turns at these roles.
My rumination on guts does ackowledge that, for me, integral to the pleasure of riding, is the belief that you can do better, ride harder, further, faster, and with courage, and occassionally abandon. Also integral, is the profuse use of commas.
In the course of strving for improvement, all kinds of rides are necessary. Soul rides, therapeutic rides, social rides, and gut-busting, vision-blurring rides.
When conditions are right-in your head, in your heart, and on the trail you will eventually let it all hang out and try to WHOOP_ SOME ASS, and that is just good,clean fun. Under those circumstances, when you are truly trying to make a big play, pain eventually talks you(well, me) down. The crux of my question is, assuming you aren’t actually in danger of death- what does it take to withstand a little more punishment over the chorus of can’ts, don’ts, shouldn’ts, and won’t ever be able to’s that invade the mind.
For the record- Mt. biking, from here on referred to as “biking” just so we don’t confuse S’quatch, is far more than recreation for me, it is a special magic that has never forsaken me through the years, even as a fat-ass, and a smoker. When I’m in “that place” during a good ride I truly don’t give a fuck if the world wanted to end, as long as I got my fill that afternoon, and maybe a cold beer afterwards.
The bike is the crucible, and when will eventually defeats entropy of muscle, wind, AND mind, the body responds. It’s fun when it happens to you, and it’s fun (grrrrr) when you get to witness it in your friends, like having Juancho come around me on every last one of those fucking hills on the way home from Wacissa. That’s not supposed to happen, but there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it but admire the apples.
Regardless of how many ways there are to enjoy a bike ride, and there are many, the deepest satisfaction and thrill comes from those “How about them apples?” moments.
All the finest apples cost a pocketful of pain.
Apples for sale, cheap right now.
A few random synapse firings:
I like Gala Apples personally, but endorphins by any other name still taste as sweet. Even so, the pocketful of pain has to be seasoned with a sprinkling of success to keep the brain in the game. In biking, like basketball, the prospect of a W, however small, drives my maximum output higher. But riding is so sweet that I’m willing to accept more pain longer while patiently awaiting a whoop-ass moment.
This “eat the pain” ethos makes me thirsty for a Mountain Dew — Pavlov meets marketing. It also makes me wonder whether Lennon would have allowed Day Tripper to be used in a Mountain Dew commercial.
come and get some fucking apples little girls.