Someone smart once told me not get caught up in the wreckage of the future, a warning not to invest too much in anxiety about events guaranteed to unfold differently than you imagine they will. Equally, it is probably unwise to think overly much on the good things to come. They, too, often become recognizable once you’re up close.
I try to remember these things when I think about future rides.
Right now, I am a middle-aged, middle-class, American man in the thick of familial domesticity. I coach two youth soccer teams. I work full-time. I am married to a woman I don’t just love, but also like. I have a few hobbies that don’t involve pedaling, and a few friends who don’t own chamois butter. When I think about riding, my dreams are proscribed by a reality that affords very little in the way of free time.
Reality can be a cruel mistress.
Just last night, in a Walter Mitty-esque reverie, I debated which big ride event I would take on at the end of summer. I chose one. My wife duly informed me that we’d be away on vacation the weekend of the ride. I chose another one, but didn’t register. I closed the laptop and cleaned the kitchen instead.
I know I won’t always be this busy, and just in case anything I’ve typed above rings of complaint, let me revise my tone. The thing is, my life is overbrimming with good things. I know that. I’m one of the lucky few who has more good in his life than he has time for. I’m wealthy in some way that’s not monetary. And I might be a little greedy too.
I dream of riding bikes in far-flung locales: Moab, Wales, Italy, Japan. I think about touring with my wife, maybe with some friends. What about 24 hour races? What about the Haute Route Rockies? What about Grinduro? There is so much, and I didn’t even mention France.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what does your cycling future look like? Maybe you’re retired, and you’re already there. Maybe you’re young and still living the dream. Or maybe you’re like me, in the frenetic middle, watching your kids grow, almost visibly, day-by-day, and wondering if you’ll still have the legs when the day finally comes.