It is amazing how life can become a distraction from, well, the things you rather be doing. I feel like there is something profound waiting to be explained in that statement but I’m going to have to come back to it another time…
I’ve had a few non-bike things going on that caused me to lose focus for the last 2 weeks. And I’m in the early weeks of a training effort that will run through the next 5 months. Whatever the excuses, I’ve had to focus elsewhere. But luckily, since you only have one life that encompasses everything you do (and want to do), I’ve managed to make some lemonade.
I’ve been running and riding a lot in the last 2 weeks. I don’t really like to run, but it is good bang for the buck and certainly helps my riding. I’ve also been riding a lot – road and dirt. Now, I have been a hardgoods guy for a long time – skis, bikes, shoes, electronics, whatever. I like the specs and the designs and the colorways – and I pay a lot of attention to what people use. When I am running I notice what jacket and shoes you are wearing, where you = every single person I pass or get passed by. When I ride I look at your frame. Every frame. I look at the tubes and the shapes and the geometry and how you sit on it. Did I mention I love everything about bikes?
Last week I rode up Emigration Canyon here in SLC – might as well be a superhighway for bikes. I’m sure this is the most ridden stretch of road in the valley (and I think Garmin Connect will agree). I notice a lot of Specialized bikes and a surprisingly high ratio of S-Works from the very top of their product line. Interestingly, I usually notice those guys as I ride past them (more on this another time). I see a lot of carbon, I see aluminum from every brand in every tube shape. And when I’m lucky I see someone cruising up on some skinny steel tubes – usually older bikes and guys with beards! These are always my favorite – aesthetically. A fat, shaped carbon tube is gorgeous. But there is something about the skinny steel tubes that calls back to a different time. Or maybe it just reminds me the bike I’m pedaling. Last night I rode along the Bonneville Shoreline trail from City Creek to Red Butte and back. It seems that mountain bikers have a little more individuality. Every brand I could think of was represented. No two bikes alike, lots of customization and a huge range of styles. From the local racers (passing me with ease) on their hardtail, carbon 29ers to the downhillers pushing their 35lb coil sprung rigs up the steeper hills. I *think* I may have seen 2 custom frames out there but they were going the other way and pretty fast. I definitely spotted the Pereira name on one of them…
As I’ve alluded to, life has thrown a few curveballs in the last few weeks. But it has been one of those things that makes me think a lot more about how I spend my time. When you strip out all the things you have to do and focus on the things you want to do you realize how little time you really have. It makes me think about the things I want to do more, and how to make that happen. It isn’t about quitting my job and living in a van driving from ride spot to ride spot. It isn’t about starting a whole new life in a new city with new people. It is about focus and priority. I really want to be around bikes, and the people who ride them, as much as possible.
I need to get back to hustling. I need to get my hands dirty. I need to prioritize this higher than it has been.
But I need to go for a ride first!