Some of you may have wondered where that skinny bike racer with a beard went that looked like he just walked off the Appalachian trail and six months of eating nothing but cambium. Some of you know exactly where I went and have the luxury of speaking face to face with me....well, I don't know if that's such a luxury, but at least they don't have to stare at a computer screen...but anyway, I'm gonna type stuff here so that I can re-connect with anyone out there who watched me race and listened to me spout in interviews that were supposed to be about bike racing because chance would have it, I'm gonna bike race again. It's going to be, well already is, a long process for me to get back to par so I can race cyclocross for Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team like I did back in 2009......or hopefully better. When that time comes to partake in my favorite activity (traveling places in big machines) then those lucky, or not so lucky, ones who once were able to speak with me will be relegated to the computer to follow along with my adventures and the others will get to witness me suffer the cold, muddy, torture test we call cyclocross first hand. The context is bike racing, but the subject will be elsewhere most of the time. I really can't see how it wouldn't be, I mean how much do we really want to talk about racing unless we juxtapose it onto the real world?
So I'll start with where I went for those who don't know and want to. I've quit bike racing twice in my life. Both times have been the greatest times of my life. Life changing times. It's like I've spent so much of my life dedicated to racing that things build up. The things, well, I want to say, that I really want to be doing, but maybe that isn't the right way to put it. The things that were pushed aside to focus fully on pedaling. Really, the first time I quit I didn't know what I wanted to do, or that I wanted to do anything, until after I hung it up. I flailed around for a bit and eventually found myself re-purposing the bike as a way to "get away" and see the country while living a simple existence. That was life changing, but it ended up being the reason I dove back in to bike racing with more commitment than ever. I was really fit after riding all over the place. I spent couple years racing road as an elite amateur, a couple as a pro and then spent a final year dedicated solely to cyclocross. I hung it up again after the success of 2009 cross season and this time it was like the flood gates opening. I knew exactly what I wanted and it was a matter of how much I could take on at once. I spent the last couple years as a continuation of stuff I wrote about for cxmag back then
I've been a student of our past. Learning where we come from and how our ancestors lived. I have picked up alot of the skills used in the daily functions of peoples who lived more connected lives than we do today. In doing so I have made my life more connected. Connected to the real world. When I say the real world people usually think like, paying bills, the work week and stuff. That's the real world? Nah, the real world is the one out there that all the other species on this planet hang out in. That's the one I want to know most about, and I spend much time studying it. I now have a beautiful wife and we have a homestead of sorts with a little cozy cabin. So all this stuff is again, in a way, why I'm heading back to racing. I feel like I have accomplished so much and gotten things headed in the right direction. I can now fit bike racing in there and I want to because I miss the competition. I raced locally a bit last year and it just fueled the fire. Maybe it's a primal hunter-gatherer instinct misplaced in the modern world.
After the words I went out on a few years back, you could call me a hypocrite and you'd be right. I went out for good reasons and I stand by them, but also point out that hybrid cars, solar panels, and quitting bike racing aren't the answer. They might be slightly better options that could help, but the problem is way, way deeper. It's fundamental. Goes so far back that the change necessary is almost unfathomable. Doesn't make the choice good and I certainly aint going to stop trying or lose that awareness I value, but I guess it's a pick your battles situation. Maybe it's a selfish decision. Maybe it's a platform to inspire change. Maybe it's all trivial in a hopeless situation anyway. Or all of the above. Who knows. It is what it is.
The process of obtaining fitness started mid-winter and I'll be posting again soon some details of what has transpired since then. It's been interesting.
thanks for reading