Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"This was never about the money, this was about us against the system. That system that kills the human spirit. We stand for something. We are here to show those guys that are inching their way on the freeways in their metal coffins that the human sprit is still alive."-Bodhi

An underground movement has begun in the #NECX. Like a zombie apocalypse the virus has already infected many individuals but the general population just doesn't realize it yet. Unlike a zombie apocalypse the #ONEISF2 (Operation New England is Fun 2) movement will not result in the loss of body parts and you won't crave brains. You may crave beer but not brains I promise. What the hell is the #ONEISF2? Its a hash tag created by Adam St. Germaine. Fast skinny guy. That gets rad often. And wore a scarf long before it was cool to do so and they cost $70 bucks. Sheeet if I am going to spend bank on a scarf it better be Burberry and I am gifting it to my moms for the Holiday. I am pretty sure the King of the Apples makes his own. And its called a speed scarf. For the record. But back to #ONEISF2. If I were an actual journalist I would get a quote from Adam and do a sick black and white photo shoot that captured the epicness of #ONEISF2 but that would not be fun would it? Does that sound fun to you? No that sounds pretty elitist to me actually. Adam came up with it I believe inspired by all the fun the #NECX had at worlds. And pretty much all of cross season. Most of us want that vibe that we have during cross season to carryover to the rest of the year. The fun shouldn't have to stop after Worlds. Sure bike racing is serious business (not really). Crushing your frenemies at an office park crit will fill a hole in your soul (definitely not). Leaving your family behind to train like a europro is totally worth it (never). Making everyone else seem somehow less than yourself because they don't own the right bike, right helmet, right jersey makes you feel better about yourself (have you heard of this thing called Karma?) The point of all this is none of the above is a reason to commit to the biker life. Cycling should be a lifestyle. Not cause it will make you one of the cool cats. Dear god have you looked closely at a cyclist? We feel cool in spandex but to the rest of the population we are one step away from being a member of the Insane Clown Posse. So why not have fun. We spend an inordinate amount of time riding, thinking about riding, weaving our whole social network around other riders and committing all act of horrors upon ourselves at the altar of cycling. So some of us, well, a lot of us chose to go down another path. Long before he who shall never be mentioned went on Doprah we had been taking the path less traveled.

New England is a harsh environment. The survival rate in the early days was horrific. Riding in the NE to some may seem the opposite of fun. But shit its easy to have fun when the sun is out for 90% of the year and it never dips below 40 degrees. All those smiles and happy people you see in California? Yeah they seem happy on the outside but they aren't fooling me. But I digress. The Ronde de Rosey grew out of this idea. Why travel x amount of miles and spend x amount of dollars to race against 500 Cat 5 racers with zero support when you can actually have just as big an adventure in your own backyard, have a blast while suffering on a staggeringly brutal course and end at a pub where a cold beer and delicious food and friends await you? That sounds pretty good right? Now I know a lot of you aren't ready for fun. Choosing fun over not fun seems like weakness. Choosing to be serious over being lighthearted and getting into all manner of shenanigans seems like a waste of time. I think cycling may be the only sport on the planet where rank amateur riders believe their training and racing is just as important as the pro riders who get you know paid to do so. It is both a blessing and a curse. We are not pro racers. We never will be. What they do is beyond anything we could ever accomplish. Clean or not. 

Team Camelstache was also born from this ideal. What is Camelstache. I would tell you but then...well you know the drill. Let's just say it is a team that's takes fun and adventure to a whole other level. The Zank SSCX series same idea. Ice Weasels. You get the point. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. For lots of reasons. One the Ronde is going to be here in a blink of an eye. Two road season is here as well. Three with Spring I have been able to get on some really fun rides with friends. I love Spring in New England. I know you wouldn't think its Spring looking out your window. But for someone who has ridden all Winter outside I can tell. Sure snow is on the ground but its warmer. Birds are chirping. And friends are meeting up for long rides. I love long rides with zero agenda. Yesterday was the type of ride that Spring is all about. Meet one friend. Ride to a nice cafe to meet the second friend. Enjoy coffee and a pastry. Freak out that friend #2 isn't showing up. Check previous texts and realize wires got crossed. Friend #2 kits up as fast as she can and meets you on the path. Then go on a fun loop all through the 'burbs. Ride through hail laughing inside. Come home thrashed but wanting to do it all over again.

I made a comment about complaining last week on the tubes. Everyone gets to complain. Its part of the human condition. And bike racers have a gift in this department. But what I have noticed about the people I tend to ride with all the time and who are my real friends they don't complain. Sure maybe about this or that but not in the big picture. We can be riding through some nasty weather and we are just smiling and laughing and enjoying ourselves. So I invite you to join the #ONEISF2. Take baby steps at first. Take off the heart rate monitor strap. Unclench your teeth a bit when you ride. Take the road less traveled. Ride to the ride. I would suggest riding a singlespeed but that has somehow become somewhat serious as well. Its odd how a ss can become something of a political statement. I ride a ss mtn bike for fun. Because it is actually fun to ride. Not because it makes me cooler than you or anyone else. If you think a bike or anything else could make a person cool you may not be ready for #ONEISF2. So in two weeks when you are going crazy during the Ronde or maybe you hit a tree and are like F this bullshit I hate bikes! Stupid Rosey and his let's go ride 70 miles in the woods with a shitty cue sheet (or no cue sheet!) These trails suck. Ok maybe they are actually really super cool. But damnit I would rather be at Myles Standish in the break getting all the glory and then do a wheelie over the line like Sagan cause that is cool!!! Just take a deep breath. Let it out. Ok can you feel that space? That is the space where #ONEISF2 exists. Let it wash over you. See you all in two weeks. And try and have some fun between now and then ok...Less Q Q, more pew pew for 2013.

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