Wednesday, February 04, 2009

But(t) Seriously

"It's a feeling you get on certain trails, when you're reacting like you and your machine are just one thing. It's the feel of physical exertion and speed and technique all wrapped into one."

-Ned Overend

It was a tough morning Sunday; I'd stayed up too late, had too many beers, didn't sleep well, I was hurtin', but it was the first day in weeks that it was out of the thirties - I had to ride, I had to. Procrastination was going on, coffee was going down at an alarming rate, my mood was not improving, I felt like total crap...I did not want to ride, I wanted go eat eggs and watch a movie.

My fixed gear looked about as appealing as a wet sweatshirt. I suited up in earnest, stumbling and grumbling around, driving Miriam nuts. Thankfully for both our sakes she found, while poking around on the Facebooks that a couple of local riders had been out in the woods near our house and that conditions were awesome.

After a few minutes of tinkering with the Ferrous I call Dunderchee I was ready to go. Once I was out there I found the conditions amazing. The snow was soft and wet but if you stayed on the packed foot path you were good. Fall off course and you were putting a foot down or going over the bars. Get off on an unpacked trail that had enough of a pitch to it and you were snowboarding on a bike.

The loop which when I'm in shape (and it's not covered in snow) takes me about half an hour took nearly an hour and a half. Anything but the slightest incline causing me to get off and run. As I hit the East side of the loop, nearing the end, the snow was getting softer and softer, more un-rideable every foot I went. I was off the bike more than on, tripping over myself and my machine.

By the time I got home I was little kid who's been playing with his older cousins all day tired, ready to crawl under the table and take a nap. This is one of my favorite states to be in.

I should have a video up Friday (it is tough to just chuck these things together) and I promise the soundtrack will not be another f-ed up mash up.

Here's where I get all emotional ('n' shit).
I feel the same way Deadly Nedly feels about the mountain bike only more so. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the only time I am truly happy is when I am on my mountain bike but close to it. As far as road bikes go, they don't hold a candle to the mountain bike when it comes to improving my mental state.

Maybe it isn't so much happiness I lack when off the bike, more the clarity and peace of mind. If I were riding my mountain bike right now I would possess the mental clarity to come up with semi-coherent statement which had a semblance of profundity. I should stick to being a wise-ass (wise and ass are two separate links) and leave the deep stuff to guys like this (and those are three separate links by the way). *

Riding a mountain bike fast in technical terrain requires focus not required of road riding (even aggro commuting) the bad thoughts cannot penetrate that focus, it blots out all feedback, all static. It is like meditation, only faster. Unlike road riding this a no-ipod-required activity. I want to hear the crunch of the sticks and leaves beneath my tires, I want to hear the wind in the trees and the birds chirping and my bike falling apart.

The quiet in my brain while riding in the woods is something I have become addicted to, nothing else will suffice.

* If I classified you as a fellow wise-ass and not as the deep thinker you are, I obviously made a mistake and flip-flopped the links. If I classified you as a deep thinker and you actually consider yourself a wise ass, I obviously made a mistake and flip-flopped the links. If you feel you are both I actually meant to link to you in both categories. If you are someone who feels like I should have linked to you and not these other clowns I really meant to, it was a key stroke command error. To those I referred to as "Clowns", in my country the term "Clown" is reserved for beloved warrior kings and gifted alchemists.


CB2 said...

Well said.

Raineman said...

Thom, you be needin' racin'.
I assume you've heard about this:
Winter Spike!tacular MTB Race

On the ICE of beautiful Lake Congamond.

Race Format: 3 Events Combined
• Closed Course - GP Style Crit (~5-7 laps)
• Drag Race – Individually Timed (with a twist?)
• Short Track Oval – Individually Timed (~3-4 laps)

Traction… Traction… Traction…

When: Sunday Feb 8th
Signup 9:30-10
Racing 10:30

Where: Lake Congamond, Southwick MA. State Boat Ramp on the north end of center pond. Point Grove Road, next to Louie B’s.

Entry Donation: One MTB Tire, and non-perishable food item(s), to go to a local food bank.

Prizes: 100% Pay-back of the ENTRY TIRES, to the winners. Dependant upon the number of entrants… Top five finishers… 45% - 25 – 15 – 10 – 5% (Could be completely different on race day, but something like that.) Tires will be put into piles randomly and given out. No choices! Tire swap after is fully legal.

Two Classifications: “Double-Runners” (Beg/Sport) and “Speed-Skates” (Top Sport/Expert). On your honor, no sand-bagging.

Racing Tires–Guidelines: Anything goes!!! Home-made… Store bought… Stolen… Whatever makes you go fast.

Donation Tire–Guidelines: Tires must be new or in very near-new condition. Must be at least 2.0” or wider. Can be either 26” or 29”.

****** HELMETS REQUIRED ******

gewilli said...

LMAO @ the *

James said...

"As far as road bikes go, they don't hold a candle to the mountain bike when it comes to improving my mental state."
-Amen Brother!