Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wet n Wild
I complain a lot about rain, too much as a matter of fact. I don't need to spend time moaning about something I have no control over. This week afforded plenty of time to think on such matters while it poured epic amounts from the sky. Wednesday morning was the first day I rode after the 12 hour race, and all I did was pedal down the paved trail 20 minutes or so to this little spot in the woods where there are a handful of dirt jumps to exercise my Yeti 575. Even though the trails are micro and I am about as good of a dirt jumper as Keanu Reeves is an actor, I left amazed how simple it is, Dirt + Bike=Much Fun. Thursday I had a horrible ride on my road bike where I nearly wrecked in the wet numerous times, was swooped by a couple of cars, and was just generally on pins and needles the whole time. Road biking is all fine and what not but basically the whole crux of that is going insanely fast, when you are just out podonking around you might as well be on treadmill. Friday morning brought torrential rains, true downpour, flash flood warnings and all. I sat on the couch contemplating how I can get out of our lease and move back to the southwest. Then I just got mad at myself for being such a baby and a complainer. I love Kansas City, I choose to live here and rain is part of the gig. I grabbed the fixed gear and rain jacket and headed out. I do not really know what route I rode, I just rode around. Sometimes I could not tell if I was headed up a sidewalk or a drainage ditch, I am not joking. Pedestrian bridges were being covered in rushing water, cars were sliding around, and my bike was spectacularly cleaned. I was not out long, maybe a hour and half but it was like being baptised. There has always been some element within me that wants to be in defiance of something, and when I am out there in the downpour riding along I don't know what I am defying, but I know it is something, and I know I am winning. Saturday morning was the exact same story, rain pounding and the forecast did not show it letting up. Straight onto the bike and into the wet. I figured out on Friday that if it is not cold outside rain jackets are completely stupid. Does it really matter if my arms and chest are not wet? Of course I can understand avoiding hypothermia if it is cold, but besides that leave that nasty piece of something plastic at home, use it to cover a wood pile or something of the sorts. Saturday during one of the particular fierce sessions of rain a car at a stop light rolled down his window and asked if I was training for something? I think he was hoping for The Tour de France, or the Olympics. "The Apocalypse," I smiled back to him. He looked uncomfortable and rolled up his window before I could hand him a pamphlet. Sunday was my first day off work that I was not running around crazy in a long time. My good friend Jim Cummins and I hooked up for a solid knobby tire urban ride. I was on my bike over 5 hours by the time I rolled back in to the drive way. Alright I am a mountain biker, I cannot always ride trails, but I can stop complaining and always make the best of it. I am going to try real hard at this. I remember reading a story in some cycling publication a long time ago that ended with, "Never give up, Never accept the ordinary." That is something to burn into your brain.