No, I’m not singing the song that once blared from Chief Wiggum’s radio. But this is how most people see bike rides. This occurred to me last night as I cashed in my birthday massage. When asked what my trouble areas where I explained that my shoulders and neck are in a near constant state of screwed up. I glanced over the question of “What type of work do you do?” because the answer was very little and since I’ve spent more time in a bike saddle than I have working the last few weeks I thought it pertinent to explain why my shoulders are so messed up. The very nice lady went on at length about the awsomeness of bike rides. While I agree, that yes, bike rides are indeed great, that’s not really the reason I ride.
I haven’t meet the man personally (I hope to change that), but I’ve been told that Mark Twight prides himself on brining “The Darkness” into writing about climbing. Before Mark, a majority of the writing focused on the beauty of the mountains, and the greatness that occurs there. For sure some people covered the darker side, even in the same breath, but for the most part “the Darkness” was glossed over. Maybe in an attempt to keep the macho factor high, or as way of stopping the author from digging too deep into that side of things.
I’m not trying to rant here, but what I am getting at is that it’s not everyone rides because they love it. Some of us ride because we need a break from the screwed up state of our heads. Or as is often the case with me, a chance to put that self hate to good use.
I wrote once that climbing saves me. I’m now reconsidering this statement. Not because I don’t climb any more, but because I think it was false from the start.
Looking back at the time I wrote that it occurs to me that it wasn’t saving me, but was blocking me from actually dealing with the problem. At that time I had just started to scratch the surface of what it meant to train. I spent all of my waking hours thinking about, because it was way easier to do that than deal with the fact that I was letting down the ones I loved. This is a hard feeling to do deal with and the training and climbing was a way to retreat into myself and not deal with the problem.
All of this comes back to me now, two years later because I find myself in a very similar place. Retreating into myself, not talking about what is going on in my head, and starting the cycle of wedge driving all over again. In some ways separating myself from those around me works to my advantage. It stops me from getting dragged down by the lowlifes I sometimes work with. The flip side of that is that it allows me to constantly feel like I’m letting down the ones I care about most.
I think that over the course of a long ride I slowly work on issues I have. I believe that the discipline I show (sometimes) in regards to the shit I put in my mouth, and training will eventually filter into the aspects of my life that really matter. Till then I’m attempting to hang out with loosing what means most to me in this world.