Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sometimes the clothes do not make the man.

Am I the only one that turned this magic little corner of pop history up to 11 on the day after Christmas, locked all the doors, and sing-cried his eyes out in the shower?

Then I made some tea.

If the Death of George Michael doesn't mark the aging process for you with another huge black line, consider this - was Will Leet even born yet in 1990?
I don't think he was.
The whole thing hurts me.

Most things do now, I've noticed.  I walked with my kids around D.C. for the better part of the day yesterday, touring the History of Space Travel and Mankind and so forth, and though my mind is blown by the progress and destruction of our species in such a short span of time, today it feels like someone beat my legs with a Saturn V Space Rocket.

Foot travel, misery.  New Years Resolution #314,098: make better choices.

As the relevance of that dialog you've been having in your head for the last however many years about the existence of Heaven and Hell becomes only more relevant as the time draws nearer and, indeed, your idols pass on to find out for themselves, one thing comes ever clearer into focus: Enjoy Today.

Ride your bike before it's laughably outdated, and so are you.  1990, where did even you go?
To win the race, a prettier face.
Brand new clothes and a big fat place on your rock 'n roll TV.

Up, up, up.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Only a fool would complain

Oh, Canada.  A little piece of rock n roll history.  Eat shit, cancer.

Only a Canadian could write such a ballad about freezing to death.  Which brings me straight to the subject of Il Pantani Ride in what is certain to be the weirdest year of our Lord, ever, 2017.  BE CAREFUL UP THERE.  I know you gotta get your train on - I dig that most of all.  But going up there in shorts at 3 PM, because you know, climbing, is a good recipe for not coming back down.  So be smart and wear some wool or something.

With that said, train away.  And if you want to start from here at the Rancho Relaxo, contact Shawn at BRC and he'll get you the quick and dirty approval to park your Subaru right on the official start line.  It's helpful for us to know whose car that is, still parked there 24 hours later, for when we have to start searching for your dead body.  We'll at least know what bike you were riding.  It's 50 miles, which if you're Dave Flatten, is just a shade under 3 hours of beating your subconscious (and Jeremiah Bishop) into submission.  The rest of us, it takes a long time.  So be prepared, and a badass.

Also, can we talk about how in the name of Trump people are doing this loop in under 3 hours?  I'm just hoping to get back under 4 this year.  And finish.  Finishing before dark would be a tremendous achievement from where I'm sitting right now, which is directly on my huge ass.

To ease the pressure, I've set the start time to 10 AM this year, not 11 AM, providing me an extra 1 hour of sunlight to try to limp around the course and make it home alive.  I like my odds, but that could be the eggnog talking.  So who really knows.

No one.  And that's the beauty of it.  It's December, and from here you can dream your own reality, maybe even steer a little for a change.  Free will vs. Destiny.  No matter how much time you spend considering those things, you're the only one to blame on Feb 10th and, conveniently, I'll blame you too.

So we've got that, whatever it is.

Anyway, if you wanna get down, you gotta get up first.
And up, and up, and up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

PANTANI 2017 - February 12th, 10 AM.

Pantani 2017 will be February 12th, 2017, which if you're doing the math, is 2 months from yesterday.

Meaning that if you're on a 2-month training plan to try to pull your pie-loving fat ass together before game time, you're already 1 day behind.  1 day behind AND COUNTING.

At this rate, I'm going to suck it, badly, at Pantani this year.  Maybe, indeed, the first year I'll DNF, or at least my slowest loop ever - and that's really saying something since last year I managed to finish it with a foul, oozy case of Shingles.

Because Shingles is one thing; obesity is quite another, and I'm soft right now.  Soft as that gelatinous stuff that seems to pour out of the bottom of the creamed turkey leftovers when you leave them in the fridge too long and then eat them anyway.  Soft like that part-timer, has-been Gordon Wadsworth's 42-tooth cog on his 11-speed cassette that he hasn't had the balls to bring to Pantani in 3 years.  Soft like a tater tot, which, no bullshit, I am eating right now at 10:45 in the morning.  This is not good.

Like everything I don't dig about myself, this valley of non-fitness I'm currently wallowing in is only accentuated by the reality that there are so many truly hard people out there right now, already training, already having cranked out Pantani or a fragment of it before the first flake of snow has even brushed the top of Brokenback.  Social media, or at least all the text messages I get from McCardell, are a healthy way for me to see what other people are riding, how fast they're doing it, and loathe myself.

You people disgust me.  And by "you people" I mean the me that I see in the mirror after I look at your strava data.

And maybe that's ok.  Someone around here needs a serious, hard kick in the ass, and it's not the dog.

I've got to get my shit together.  I've got to get focused.  We all know how this one ends -  one day, you're just puttering along, junk miles and pudgy and content to not give a shit about it, and the next day you're diagnosed with Diabietes, Hyptertension, Manic Depression, Gout, and you get dropped on the way up Mechums hill on a pretty Tuesday evening, landing you straight in the hospital with a laundry list of shit that needs fixed, pronto, and no health insurance.  The speed with which you can smack into the bottom of the barrel of life is directly disproportionate to your actual speed on the bike.  Just look at yourself.

What would Pantani say if he could see you now?
What did Pantani actually say, for that matter, when he locked himself in a hotel room by the sea, broke all the furniture, and drank all of that cocaine?

You read that right.  He DRANK it.  And he looked in the mirror, gave it a half-smile through the tears, and said out loud to whoever that was who he'd become that he couldn't recognize anymore:

MOTHER OF GOD.  Am I too late?

Up up up.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Eject Button

I quit Facebook on November 9th.

Maybe "quit" isn't the right word.  I ejected from Facebook.  Quitting sort of implies that I removed something from my life - some outside, unwanted thing like plastic cutlery, or tobacco products, or domestic canned beer.  Like it was an unwanted add-on that could be pulled away from me, the main subject, with just a little effort.   That's not what I did.

On the other hand, ejecting means that rather than removing it from your life, you remove yourself from its life, understanding full well that Facebook is a living, breathing organism unto itself, and it's much, much bigger than any of us, and maybe somehow that skewed proportional relevance has become a part of the problem, whatever the problem actually is.  I never quite figured that part out.

But anyway, just like that, I was out.

As a person that works from home, lives at home, generally stays home most of the time, rides here, eats and drinks here, sleeps here, etc, one interesting aspect of ejecting from Facebook is that I have absolutely no idea what's going on now.   No more Facebook, coupled with a sudden and decisive reduction in the amount of bad news I'm willing to read online, has created an enormous gap between the world and the things happening in it, and me, on a sort of singletrack island here in E-Rallysville.

And I guess that was sort of the point anyway.  Reality vs. Singletrack island.  I'll take Singletrack Island every time, at least until Reality gets its shit together.

Not everyone has that choice, of course.  Plenty of people work in a social-media driven world, or are required to monitor their corporate social media profile, or otherwise don't have the professional ability to just drop back and punt social media on 3rd down before it gets any worse.  I get that.

But you still have the choice, the same choice we all have at the end of the day, every day, when the next thing you do - your own version of reality, not the enormous social one that has been created for you, but your ACTUAL LIFE, reaches a final, rapidly diminishing hour before it's time to pass out:

Ride your bike or surf big blue.
it's enough to drive you crazy
One of these things - only one - will help you, 2 months from now, when the Ghost of Marco Pantani is mocking you as you trudge up Brokenback.

Up to you.

Up, up, up.