It has been pretty well documented where my priorities lie: Family, Friends, CX, Bikes, Bikes and the rest of my life trying to be a good or bad influence on others...depending on your perspective. But my wife hit me with a Zen Koan on our Sunday ride. My amazing wife: " Why do you ride?" Me: Um I don't know. MAF: "No I mean why do you ride all the time. Every day (sort of 4-5 days a week), all year long, in the snow, when its cold and rainy" Why do you do it? Damn that is a whole lotta question for a nice bike ride. I was stumped. Straight up. But it has stuck with me. My whole family is riding right now. And that means so much. Biking to me is a gift. Its been my profession. All my friends are bikers. Frankly staring down the barrel of 50 and having friends half your age is nuts. But its normal in our wolf pack. Yeah I am as old as fuck. And should know better than to try and take up single speeding and learn to ride rocks at my advanced age but the bike it keeps you young. Its sort of a fountain of youth.
But back to the family and friends. Why bike? Why bike your whole life? And why at almost 50 am I more in love with it than I ever have been. Those dudes. And ladies. Frankly the whole NECX. I had a whole other biker life out west. It was a "career" til it wasn't. But I was raised by people who loved the sport and weren't ones to mess about. Frankly we need more Santa Cruz and DFL influence on the bike industry. It would be a check and balance to a lot of the excess that goes on today. But don't get me wrong there has NEVER been a better time to be a biker. I am sort of a retro-grouch. Sort of. I love steel. Revere frame builders. You remember them right? The people who actually make shit. And I worship my friends. They push me. They pick me up when I am broken. Ok some of them break me but whatever. Who in New England doesn't love those who make them stronger?
But back to my earlier point why do you ride? Racing meh. What ever. Look at the shitty choices people make for the almighty glory of racing. Do I like to race. Yeah sure. Am I gonna fuck up my relationships or think its the defining part of me. No fucking way. It is a nice octagon for sure. You get a lot out of pinning a number on. You make some great friends. And frenemies...but it can not be the defining part of your biker life or it will ruin you. I still don't know the answer to that simple question. Often I joke with my wife that she is a Zen master. There is so much about her that is that. And she HAS NOT studied Zen at all which is sort of frustrating as I have. For a long time. So there is that. But these rides with my wife have been amazing. The rides with my kids have been amazing. And the rides with my friends, new and old have been ...well you get it. I guess thank you to all you bikers. It has been an amazing ride. Literally. Still can't believe how old I am or how long I have been doing this. I suck at it so there is that. But I don't think you are supposed to be good at it to be honest. That would cheapen it. Its a lifestyle. Period.