Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Riding cleanses the soul

August seventh was the last posted bike ride on here. Seventeen days ago, and I haven't been on a bike since. Not even for a spin around the block with the kids. After nearly twenty years of riding bikes I've had my share of dry spells. Some were extremely bad dry spells, like in 2001 and the beginning of 2002 I decided to give up riding and buy a racing quad, also the year I embraced America, thanks to September 11th. Not in a good way. I went the route of the white trash American and adorned everything with American flags. The car, the windows of our home, and my bandanna that I wore on my rare trips to the river valley, there was even a flag flapping on my sweet little racing quad! Yes that was the time of my life we moved onto a farm into a mobile home. How fitting. Oh how I needed to ride a mountain bike.

Thankfully bikes took over my life again midsummer of 2002 and it started to clear my head. Which is what riding does. It cleanses. The seventeen days I have been off the fat tires, I've noticed a change. I'm becoming more prone to extreme periods of grumpiness, my spring has sprung from my step, and my thoughts have changed. I am starting to stop thinking of literally everything I see and wonder how much better it could be if mountain bikes were involved. Instead of daydreaming about going riding after work, I'm wondering what I could do with myself.  Of course that narcissistic trait of judging everybody you meet and think to yourself "man! That dude needs a set of fat tires to roll around on" as he talks incessantly about his sword collection is still there,  and will not go away. Probably cause I'm a dick.

Riding cleanses, that's what it does. The short sections of singletrack that interconnect in our river valley that I lust after will take all the bad thoughts and turn them into stark dreams of trips to the mountains. With each technical rooty climb conquered on a hardtail, each bad thought about work or life quickly gushes away. When you ride, you let go of everything. That pompous ass in sales... Some smooth flowy singletrack accompanied by a few sketchy log crossings will take care of him.  That preppy looking yuppy couple who just let their dog shit all over your lawn... Who cares! I'm heading to Fruita next month!


Just being on a bike, especially in the river valley is the true epitome of all that is awesome. In the nineties that camaraderie with other riders was never more prevalent. Meeting other riders on the trails was often met by exhuberant talk about bikes, and trails. Sadly, nowadays lots of other riders don't seem to really care if your there. I blame the invention of smart phones, texting, and Facebook, and of course, elitism.


I hope to get back out. Maybe next week, or maybe I'm dreaming. Three nights I will be getting treatment for this, and I know the other nights may be involved with work. So I sit and stare at the computer reading about other peoples rides, watching youtube videos of guys ripping it up and having their soul "cleansed," and looking up other frames and wonder if it would be worth it to replace the Mojo after such a rotten season. It's tempting, but I don't think it is warranted.