Monday, July 21, 2008

reflection of an old guy

I just received this shot of ridercali and riderpitts summitting at k120 at the black forest rad marathon in triberg. I can remember that part of the race as being mentally challenging as for me the 4hr mark is my hump - when i hit it in good form -bonus and i actually pump it up a notch or two - if i hit it hurting - i find it difficult to digest in my mind another 2-3hrs of pain. This particular summit is where we were caught by the two germans and we were hating life. I was cramping, calner was pedaling through knee discomfort - but the arrival of the two german teammates seemed to boost moral and we settled into the next 2 hours working well together - the 4 of us. It causes for reflection that the best moments for me in cycling are when guys push one another along - share the load - and ultimately the satisfaction of having your training and racing come together with the same people you actually give two hoots about. Those that dont buy into the sharing mind set i find that i have less and less time for. Funny that for such an individual sport. Not to be overly dramatic but to make the point - those that suffer together have a unique bond - kinda like a study group through its first set of finals at an overly competitive school - paperchase for those a bit older. I was thinking that there are less opportunites for me to share struggle as i age - less team stuff - working in an investment bank one could agrue even runs counter to stewardship. The average banker guy sits in his pod - making his dough - staring at his screens - and worries about issues of security when he already has way too much in the bank. Maybe thats why cycling and backcountry skiing for me are best experienced with a couple good pals - as without them - it really isnt a victory. Shoot me if my life is ever reduced to a couple of screens, a bank balance and vacant conversations about business travel. And remind me that building a history with people who seek out the struggle gives us lots to talk about when our knees start to give way and we spend more time in the garden talking about those moments of struggle, and then we can toast time well spent.