Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just riding.

Something crossed my mind that has me bothered. I think it was yesterday, the day after the Liebre Mtn ride. Now, that was a great ride. The climb was hard on the SS, but so what? It was what I wanted for training that weekend. The trail itself could hardly have been better. Miles of singletrack, brushy in places, but with perfect soil conditions and nearly magical in the way it weaves underneath the trees, you would think I would have been just blissfully in the groove, just dancing along. Not! I was thinking too much.

What was I thinking about on the way up the mountain? Well, in between the times I stopped for a cardiac break, I was thinking about why I packed too much stuff. Why I had not been riding more. Why I was so slow. I was nagged by the thoughts of some upcoming medical tests that could be less than wonderful. I was thinking a lot. Too many doubts. To quote Niner bikes, "Pedal Dammit!"

What was I thinking about on the singletrack? Frame geometry, fork offset, tire performance, SS good or bad, steel VS. carbon/ti/alu, lean back more, lean forward more. Overdressed? Underdressed? I actually had to force myself at one point to relax and smile as I entered yet another swoopy corner. What is the deal?

It was not always that way. Now, I have a tendency to overanalyze stuff. It is just a personality trait. Kinda like the character Monk in that crime drama on TV: "It is a blessing...AND a curse" It is what makes me the guy you want sweating the details and prepping stuff. But I remember in years past just riding and not thinking. Just riding and feeling the simple pleasure of the rolling wheels being driven along by gravity and one-rider horsepower. Just riding.

Just riding.

The ride is what it is...the bike is what it is, and to some degree I am what I am. I think it is too much time spent on internet MTB sites debating the merits of this or that bike part or set-up. Too much product analysis. Or, maybe it is bigger than that. Maybe it is the cares of age and the loss of the free feeling of youth and maybe...just maybe it is just a reflection of my life's attitudes overall. I am not sure. But, I am very sure that I need to get back there somehow, back to just riding once I am on the bike and save all the pondering for the garage bench and the fireside post-ride discussions. I need to leave the doubts at the trailhead, forget about rebound settings, fork offset, stem length........

Just riding once again.

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