I said yes, because it’s easy to say yes to things that are happening in the future. Will I be there? Yes, absolutely. That sounds fun. The problem is that I don’t actually have a good sense of when future events are going to happen, nor do I do a good job of imagining the other things I might be committed to at a later date.
As it turns out, I have a lot of complications, one is nine-years-old, one is eleven-years-old, and the other wears a ring that says she comes before the bike on any day she chooses. I am, despite the phrasing, entirely good with this.
As an example of this whole scenario, I have agreed to ride Rasputitsa in April 2017. This is a 40+ mile bad road race in Northern Vermont, which doesn’t sound particularly daunting if you haven’t been in Northern Vermont in April before. Last year, there were long hike-a-bike sections where even fat bikes were unrideable due to snow-clogged dirt roads. Rasputitsa is less a race than a survival event. 40+ miles isn’t much, until you’re moving at 4 miles an hour, and it’s cold.
None of that is the point though. The point is that life happens in April. My kids have a school vacation, and even if I’ve managed to register for a race on a non-vacation weekend, there will be sporting events. Spring soccer will be in full effect, and I coach two teams. Practices will have begun and eaten into any available “training” time. The net effect is that I will almost certainly arrive in Norther Vermont with not enough miles in my legs, with not enough free brain space to properly prepare and pack, with not enough remaining enthusiasm to be really excited.
But I’ll ride anyway, cause that’s what you do. And I’ll have fun. Because bikes.
That brings me to the upcoming “holiday” period, which is invariably dotted with riding challenges such as Rapha’s Festive 500 and others. Every year I want to do one of these. Every year I get sucked into driving back and forth to hockey tournaments. What should be, in my mind, a “holiday,” gets packed with committments, so that we, as a family, don’t actually get a minute to sit on the couch together, and dad certainly doesn’t have hours to tune up his wintertime fitness. Again, this is all as it should be, or at least as it is, so I accept it and show up and my best. That doesn’t prevent me harboring some small, smouldering hope that my ass will meet saddle leather at least once between Christmas and New Year.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what are your holiday plans? Do you take on any of the big challenges, or are you off the bike now, bellied up to the kitchen table, going to fat and worrying what reentry will look like in the Spring?
Image: Matt O’Keefe