The Inauthentic Life

As expected I’m still trying to find my bearings here in Seatle Still trying to find good places to ride and still trying to work out a regular writiing and riding schedule. I am a creature of habit, and being in a new place, flipping my routine upside down has thrown me out of sorts. I’m drifting a bit.

The other night I laid in bed for an hour and a half before I gave up on sleep. My shoulders were a wrecked knotty mess. So much so that I needed to prop half my pillow up the wall to keep it from touching my shoulders. After a while I give up and prop my back against the wall and read for a bit.

Three hours ago I could barely stay awake as I waited for the lasagna to finish baking. Now I’m wide awake and sweating under the covers as my body processes the food I’ve eaten since my ride. After 90 minutes of this I gave up and got out of bed.

There’s something stuck in my mind, an idea rattling around keeping me awake.

All concerns of living a truthful, authentic life have been subsumed with my move to Seattle. Now the concern is back and I’m trying to figure out how I can get back to that mind set. A post I read a month or so back featured a talking existentialist cat urging the author on to greater authenticity.

Back home, I’m busy brewing a pour over cup of Half Wit Sulawesi Toarco Estate A and arguing with my cat.
“More authenticity, homie.” she says.
“OK, but that basically means I’d only be selling handbuilt steel fgcx bikes and tubulars!”
“Sure, but you’d feel less dirty.”
“I don’t feel dirty, this isn’t art.”
“So make it art!”
“Le sigh.”

Taticycles is talking about the selling of bikes, which I’ll get to in a moment, but the conversation with his struck something in me before I even moved to Seattle.

In the week or so before I moved I bought a carbon frame from a co-worker (I talked about it here). The bike is racy and neat and garners a few looks. Its been my rain/training bike since. Its fun, to a point but the name I gave it in my garmin tells the story: soulless. Truth is the bike doesn’t feel like me and I’m considering selling it. Like I said, its a nice bike; its just that it doesn’t feel like me. Its for someone, who is something I am not, which is a bike racer. Like a real bike racer.

Yes I race bikes and yes I love racing bikes, but I am not a bike racer. It has nothing to do with being pro. I know bike racers who aren’t pro. I recently meet a pro bike racer, who is probably more a racer than some of the big names you know. These are guys who aren’t struggling to get their base miles in. They are guys (and gals, though I haven’t meet them yet) who are true bike racers. I am not one of them.

Someone else should be riding this fancy machine, and I should be building up a bike for a project writing project I have coming up in May.

Now to selling bikes and more to the point of the post with the cat.

The move to Seattle was timed with a move from a medium sized internet retailer to a bigger (from an employee standpoint) “local LBS”. I put local in quotes because a friend of mine claims that you aren’t a true local bike shop if you can afford to have a dedicated repair staff. But I digress.

I sold my first bikes over the last weekend. They were:

$1,700 Specialized Carve
$50.00 wooden balance bike
$399.99 Girls Specialized Myra mountain bike
$250.00 BMX bike.

I was way more stoked to sell the kids bikes. Seeing the look on the ten year olds face when her bike rolled out for final check made it all worth it. Until I had to explain the virtues of a compact crank set on a race bike. Talk about failing to be authentic.


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