Monday, December 25, 2006

The Ride Not Taken

Despite the warm December, I haven't ridden since the day I got to 4,000 miles. Remember how it says in my blog description that you can have a life as well as a bike? You can and should ride well when you ride, but don't beat yourself up if other priorities draw you away for a time.

Athletes are competitive even when they don't race. Cyclists compare themselves to each other on any number of criteria. Even the people who stress that they don't race or ride fast turn the competition upside-down as they vie to be the least competitive and the lowest performance. Your upright riders wobbling down the local path can be downright militant about how their way is absolutely fine, thank you.

Chill, chill, you people. I only argue with people like a mountain biker who posted to a forum years ago saying that he would run roadies down with his car as he drove to the trails, because he felt that mountain biking was the only valid type. Roads are for cars, he said. He didn't want any roadie Eurotrash wannabes slowing him down on the way to his favorite trail.

The Internet being the Internet, how do we know he wasn't some provocateur from Car and Driver Magazine trying to make it sound like all cyclists really weren't united?

Anyone can buy a bike. Therefore anyone can claim to be a cyclist. Like any religion, it develops its denominations. Those of us in the industry know that those denominations are frequently $20 or less.

So, today, a warm Christmas in New Hampshire, I am not taking a ride. A storm of mixed blessings is headed this way, and I need to split firewood and gather kindling before whatever arrives arrives. Will it put us back into the cross-country ski business? No doubt it will glop up the roads, interrupting cycling for days, maybe months. If it makes people believe in Nordic skiing again, maybe my paycheck will soak up some of that good stuff and recover its previous, already unimpressive, size. Either way, we have to keep the house warm. We're surrounded by wood, free for the taking. Propane costs money.

The clouds thicken. The sun cuts its shallow arc across the southern horizon, diving west almost before noon. Celestially, the new year has already begun. Happy New Year. The light is on its way back.

No comments: