Maybe I’m parsing it too finely, this thing about motivation and habits and how to orient my life toward cycling more. I am not the most clever, and the challenges of holding down a job, having a happy marriage, and raising decent children, leave me, most of the time, in the lurch.
That’s not a complaint. It’s a good lurch, as lurches go.
I was reading Padraig this week, On the Nature of Ambition, and it struck some deep cords for me. A hard ride is a micro and macro challenge. Fitness, stamina, strength, these are all micro issues. On the day, on the bike, do you have the combination to finish the ride/race in some satisfying way. But then, very quickly, you run into the macro issues, the ontological bits. You ask yourself, “why am I even doing this?”
And of course, there are a million answers. In some ways, every post that’s ever appeared on this site has been an attempt to answer that question.
I have this idea, probably flawed, that if I can orient my ambitions in just the right way, I can unlock more satisfaction in all aspects of my life, of which ‘on the bike’ is an important one. A recent vacation helped me refine a general approach to the year 2017 that is, so far, yielding good results. This new approach is: Do more rad shit.
Like riding plus-size mountain bikes in the Rockies with the nerds in the picture above.
I’m building a new mountain bike with and for my ten-year-old. I’ve asked my wife to pick one fitness-based event for us to do together this year. I’ve researched doable expeditions for the family and committed to some things with friends that I’ve passed on in previous years.
Actually, screw all the platitudes, the reason to do rad shit, which can be defined as anything that opens the mind and/or draws people together, is that it produces the best, happiest kind of life. The bike can be a big part of that, especially if you like bikes and riding them.
This week’s Group Ride asks, in quite possibly a redundant pattern from the last few weeks, what are your ambitions on and off the bike? How do they intersect? What actual plans do you have that match up with your theoretical ambitions?