Still Thinking

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Have to admit that I tend to think too much. I worry, stress and fidget constantly. Often I wish and sometimes I try to make that energy go somewhere positive, instead of the dark hole of procrastination.

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the Pack

Sitting back and watching this years Tour Divide go down has been a real test for me. I wanted to race it this year, I really did, but I didn’t do enough homework, i.e. training, I didn’t save enough money, I simply didn’t keep it in the front of my mind enough to keep it in front of a long list of priorities. Even for a seasoned veteran, one can not just show up and have things fall into place

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Also have to say that this year’s pace is just scorching. It is the pace I wanted to roll with last year and failed to so with after the first 5 days. I can not help but think, over and over again, that maybe I’m done. I’m not sure I could hold that sort of pace, sitting back and watching those dots fly through some very familiar terrain, I just don’t know if I could sustain that punishment.

contemplative beauty

contemplative beauty

With these thoughts I fly off onto many tangents. Why do I need to be out there, have I not gone out and accomplished what I wanted to? What do I still need to prove to myself or the rest of the world? Is my ego so fragile and un-fullfilled that I feel the need to keep proving myself, to keep jumping into the “Dot-Spotlight”? I keep thinking and thinking about what is important to me, what do I want from this life and why does this damn race not leave me be???

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I keep hearing peeps tell me, “Next Year”. I keep thinking, Next Year! Yet again I wonder, do I want to dedicate myself, so much energy, hours and hours of training, every spare dollar I don’t really have and stress out myself and my loved ones all over again, just to be out there again? Why is the pull of this ride so damn strong? Why can’t I simply move on and live life in another direction?

Grandfather

Grandfather

The beauty of this all is that, it really doesn’t matter. I have come to realize that life is big and beautiful and there are so many paths to take and some of them seem really fun and bad ass. I have such a wonderful set of possibilities surrounding me. Out walking tonight with Rachel and the Dog Pack, the setting sun lighting up the sky, it is hard to not see endless positive choices. Living, Loving, Growing, Playing. Good solid stuff to think about for sure……then again, there is always Next Year!!!

sunset dreams

sunset dreams

Not Yet

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This blog is not dead yet!!

I have not gone completely crazy or abducted by aliens. I have a story to tell ya though….

Since I backed down from racing the Divide a couple months back I have been in a slump, a grumpy-not-so-sure what the hell I am doing state of being. Training, working and even racing all seemed like the worst things ever imagined and documenting this, my low state here with words, was even harder to convince myself to do. So there has been a long pause to say the least.

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So here and now what do I have to share?

Life is good, yep it is kinda freaking great. Thing is, as usual, it is my attitude that suffers. I am often very stuck in the now, as in I need to do what makes me tick now, tomorrow, not next week, next year, etc. So when I let go of my dream to race the Divide, I sort of crumpled inside. In that time I was convinced that all I have to offer the world is racing bikes long long distances. Without that very concrete set of ideals and goals, I flounder and get overly obsessed with why’s and if’s and but’s and in turn make myself kinda miserable.

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What changed you may ask? Well I thought about it all, a lot, like a super incredible lot. Which just made me crazier and grumpier, till I began to really look back at myself through this experience. I could see how imperfect I am, how I need that pain and suffering to feel like I am doing something worthwhile. That I want the attention that comes with crushing yourself putting in the miles. Damn it, I really am not a perfect person. Damn Damn Damn I really want to be perfect! Yet sometimes I get a glimmer of the reality that perfection isn’t a destination, so much as the gut wrenching attempt at the journey. It isn’t about standing tall atop the mountain sun on your face and wind in your hair, but instead a constant process of trying, failing, growing, learning and trying harder next time. Damn it hurts and hurts and sometimes sucks, but that experience makes you better, kinder, more connected.

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Instead of thinking about the next race every time I ride, I simply gO ride and take it for what it is, a simple and amazing luxury of cruising about riding a bike through mountains filled with magic, history and soooo many flowers!!! I have been inspired by his years Tour Divide and I think I will be back next year, but that is a tiny detail really. For my focus is not just on training and training, but about smiling and accepting, loving and receiving, being kind and giving, life is just too precious, short and fragile to not LIVE. Fitness will come, but it is more about living in balance and keeping that in perspective. I am excited to start my planning and training for next years TD, but really I am excited about all the wonderful adventures that will happen along the way. Live, Love and gORide!

ride on!

ride on!

Ride and Repeat

When I grow up, I just want to ride bikes. Sure there are other things that I like to do, but nothing makes me as happy as going for a bike ride. It really just works everytime. If I could have a super power I think it would being able to ride all day, everyday and live happily ever after.

flow like water

flow like water

It sounds so simple and perfect, yet it is kinda funny how this love of pedaling can make me get pretty crazy. Seems that simply going riding is fantastic and wonderful, but never quite enough. It does not take long at all before I start getting crazy ideas bouncing around in my head and those ideas become dreamlike quests, that in turn become obsessions.

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Maybe it is true, that I need these huge challenges to keep me focused, moving forward and keep my head in a positive place. I do have a lot of intensity that needs to go somewhere or think too much about this fucked up world and get really grumpy. But I also have this nagging desire to push myself, to get out there and experience things in a very vulnerable and absolute black and white sort of way. Riding bikes in the mountains has a way of doing just that, making you feel triumphant for surviving near death and tiny for getting your arse so very much kicked.

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The bottom line is that the Divide is out for me this year, it just ain’t gonna happen. There is much to do, things to get in line and life to live. I think the CTR will be a gO in July and there are some ideas popping inside my head that have me feeling very excited, scared and stoked to be alive. Cause it is all about riding bikes, soaking up the sunsets and making good on the life we have to live. So get out there and gO ride, it really is always worth it!!!

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Backing Down

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Getting to the start of the Tour Divide is never an easy thing. Despite my willful and stubborn nature, it has been kicking my ass. I’m broke, a little beat up and struggling to get in as much training as I want to. I’ve risen up to the challenge the best I can. I’m trying to work more, spend less and ride, recover and balance the body. I like challenges, I really do thrive on them. But for many reasons this spring I am just a big bundle of stress. Things are just not lining up, determination can do wonders, but it has limits. The load is just weighing me down and truly making life and me, not that much fun.

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The past few days I’ve done a lot of thinking, pondering and being blunt and honest with myself. I’ve decided to back down from my plan to race the TD. It is not easy or simple for me to do so. It kinda hurts for me to let go of such a dream once it is firmly inside my head. The fact is that the stress is not worth it. I want and need to be happy, not show to myself and the world that I can do it.

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When it dawned on me that putting everything into going to Banff was Not the best thing for me and my life, I cried. After a few days of walking out in the sage with the dogs, gazing at the sunset, finding magical little carved rocks in the sand, I’ve really come to terms with this decision and I feel great about it. A huge burden has lifted from my shoulders, off of my soul. I will be sad on the fateful Friday in June, but right now I am happy and that matters more than anything else.

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No Easy Ride

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Funny how we can fool ourselves sometimes. I really thought that getting ready to ride the Divide again would be easier. The training would be familiar and my fitness would carry over. I was pretty sure that after winning the damn thing that finding the cash would be easier and I wouldn’t have to stress so much. The whole process seemed like it would flow so much better.

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when in doubt gORide under the setting sun

The truth is that I have been slacking on the training. I really did want to go into this years race a bit more rested and relaxed, but instead I’ve neglected some key elements. I am tight as can be and have really exasperated some serious muscle imbalances that have my knee freaking the rest of me out. I simply have not done my homework and I know better.

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never hurts to have some great company along

I also haven’t made the TD enough of a priority. I traveled around to race in Idaho and Arizona instead of saving my money for June. There has been a little too much beer drinking and that stuff ain’t cheap. I blew a bunch of dough on a new fatbike this winter. I didn’t get out there and work for more sponsorships. Lots of little things can really add up and it really is funny how time flies and suddenly you realize your bank account is empty.

flow like water

flow like water

Sometimes it all stresses me out so much that I think maybe it is best to stay home this June. It sure would be easier in so many ways. Easy is what it is and it just isn’t me. I freaking hate getting up early to stretch and do leg lifts, squats, lunges and such, but it really does keep me moving forward, focused and true to my dreams. Not drinking a beer or two or three, after a long day at work or an awesome ride is hard, but it also feels good to dedicate myself on a whole new level. It is crunch time, make it happen with everyday efforts, fill those minutes to the brim. There’s lots of hard work to do in the next couple months and that’s alright cause hard can also be a lot of fun. gORide!

remember it is what you make it

remember it is what you make it

More

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I want more. More time for riding, walking the dogs, sleeping in, tinkering with my bike and gear and of course spending time chilling with my sweets. What is crazy is how hard it is to find that time and how easily it gets eaten up. Between working, cooking, doing chores, going to meetings, writing this blog and trying to get some decent sleep the days just fly on by.

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Sometimes the rush of so much to do makes my head spin with the stress of too many things undone. I find it hard to rest with such a long to do list. Then again, deep down I am thankful that I have a life full of passion and dreams. There was a time, not that long ago, when I did not fill the days to the brim, those were some dark and dismal times.

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Right now I am trying to balance making a living, building a loving, giving relationship, taking care of three crazy ass dogs and training to race down the Divide. Sometimes I feel like I am pulling it off, other times I wonder if I am trying to do too much? Therefor watering it all down and I can’t help but think that maybe it isn’t the best time to take on 2700 miles?

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Getting out on the bike this weekend under a gloriously warm spring sun, gazing up at the snow covered mountains, I was filled with a thirst for more. Spinning along, it felt like my full plate wasn’t enough, that despite my stress I wanted more dog time, more thinkering and more love. Damn it and I want to ride that Divide again so bad that it almost hurts. Somehow, someway I need to work more, ride more and all the while keeping that balance in check.

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Note to self: The best path is not the easy path, so suck it up buttercup!

Lucky

sunsets help everything make sense

sunsets help everything make sense

There are some that don’t believe in luck. That what happens to us, good or bad, is a result of our actions and behavior “not apparently brought on by chance”. Perhaps that is true, it is simply our attitude and way of life that sheds light on either the sunshine or the rain.

I can buy into that to some degree, yet it still seems like some folks are just plain lucky. They don’t work as much, they go on fantastic vacations, or maybe they get to travel around and race bikes as much as they want. Have to admit that I sometimes wish I was as “Lucky”. Then again maybe I’m simply ignorant of the choices they have made that makes it all possible.

love

love

I’m not a perfect person. I get grumpy with envy. I want more than I have. I am sometimes very impatient. I want to race and race and race my bike. Sometimes I feel really unlucky as I can not pull it all off. I have no money, not enough time and my body does break down.

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the distant and mighty San Juans

Then sometimes things come back into perspective and it all that negative energy seems so silly. Call it Luck, or being Blessed or just plain Happy. Life is good, there is much work to do, more focusing to accomplish, but I am feeling it, whether it is luck or not, I am grateful.

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Thank You, Universe, Thank You!