The Reset Button

Do you ever get tired of riding? Maybe even wish some external force would come along and impose a break (but not that kind of break)? Yeah, me neither. Riding is my thing. I do other things too—hiking, walking….     ummm…    yeah, I guess it’s mostly just riding. So when I moved from Marin County, California to Carbondale, Colorado 2.5 years ago (yes, I was One Of Those People…the Covid flee-er from the Bay Area single-handedly responsible for all that ails every small Rocky Mountain town), the full, hard stop of riding season in November-ish was an adjustment. 

And yes, I know that were I truly hardcore, I’d stud my tires and sally forth. I’d hop on the fat bike and plow pow. And I’ve done the latter and it was fine. Aside from the times when it was monumentally asinine for one of the many reasons that can make fat biking monumentally asinine. Too much snow (postholing). Too little snow (defeats purpose). Snow too warm (interminable slog). Ice (wheeeeeeee!SLAM*ooof). Too cold (I pay rent. On a warm dwelling. Why the F* am I out here). 

Rare footage of author not on bike.

Thus hard stop in November. I retain family north of San Francisco and if I’ve been good they let me visit (with bike), so my wings are not as clipped as they might otherwise be. Additionally, the desert climes of Grand Junction, Fruita and Moab are 1.5-3 hours drive, and late fall and early spring when my town is full of rain/mud/snow/wind and all of the trails are closed anyway, I have an additional relief valve. 

But December through March in this valley you’d better be a skier. I’m not a skier. I’m not not a skier, but put some roller skates on a giraffe and you’re getting the picture. My first season here I was excited about the white fluffy stuff. I got uphill skis (oxymoron). I got cross country skis. I donned my 15-year-old downhill skis. I shoveled money onto cards that opened lift gates. I fell. I got up. It was fine. But by February I really wanted to ride my bike. 

They say that you should try new things. Things you’re not good at. Builds new neural pathways or something. Well “they” are dumb. New things are hard and I’m a clutz. A friend giving me tips on cross country skiing said “okay, there’s a little downhill part coming up. Just get in the track, bend your knees and relax.” Conveniently forgetting the previous shenanigans this particular friend had roped me into, I said “Ok!” and set off down the back stretch just a few hundred yards behind her. 

Steadily gaining speed, and now rounding a bend with pesky trees on the side, there was said friend, most definitely not in the track, but on the wide, corduroy expanse where she had deftly stepped out to control her speed. I sailed by her at Mach 5 screaming “I’m going too fast!” to which she responded “step out of the track!” to which I responded “I HATE YOUUUUUU” to which she responded “RELAX!” and I think I got the last word, from a mile away “I REALLY REALLY HATE YOUUUUU!!” Just step out of the track my ass. Like it was the same as fallin’ off a log. I managed to crash sans tree and major injury, but tips on activities that might kill you are no longer so readily taken from this friend. Where to get a beer? Fine. Bungee jumping? Nah, I’m all set. 

I’m solidly ensconced in my third spring now, and training hard for a very big thing in July. And sure, if I’d been able to start that training sooner, I suppose I’d be better prepared for what’s to come. But the mandatory bike break has likely prevented burnout, and I’m extra sparkly about riding. So. What’s the point of this story? Despite the above tale of terror, I really did enjoy uphill skiing (free! Or nearly so…) with its cardio masochism and simple, lift-free austerity. Fat biking, under just the right conditions, is a hoot and gets you to some beautiful places to boot. Downhill skiing is fun if you are rich (I’m a writer. Do the math). A break from your favorite thing can rekindle your love for that thing. Spouse, parent, chocolate, okra. Nevermind, okra is always gross. 

Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More