<one day late!>
Sunday was Mother’s Day.
This is a little heavy topic, but bear with me.
What prevents us from telling the truth, all the time in our everyday lives?
I know, at least for me, when I was confronted with this topic, I thought to myself:
Self, you don’t lie. Â You are a truthful guy.
But when you really think about it, there are little places. Â Little corners of your mind, of your day, of your person. Â That you don’t share. Â You protect. Â You covet.
And those little things, are where the lies come from. Â Even the small ones.
These are the reasons for lies in us. Â Why do you lie?
For Self Advancement?
Little white lies about who did the work. Â Taking credit for an idea that wasn’t really yours? Â Little steps forward that might not have been yours, or at least not yours alone?
Is if for Self Aggrandizement?
Do you tell little white lies to make you look better to friends, coworkers or new aquaintences?
Or for Self Protection?
I fall into this track more than any other. Â I don’t want to argue about something I have done. Â Especially when it could be construed as selfish. Â I don’t want to own up to my own actions if I feel that there will be reprocusions.
So, in the moment, it seems to make more sense to hide from myself and my actions than to be accepting of what fallout there will be because of them.
But this is a false idea.
There is no real dodging of consequences. Â Merely a deferal. Â Usually compounded by the addition of the realization of the lie piled up on top of the initial action.
So why, why in the moment does it seem to make sense to lie?
Why, if only for a fraction of a second, does the lie seem to make sense?
Because I am not present in that moment. Â I am in the future. Â I am manipulating myself and my experience. Â Instead of being in the moment, I am predicting what MIGHT happen to me and making choices to try and change an outcome.
I am trying to avoid the confilct that might arise from one of my actions, but I also want to reap the benefits of my original action.
I am trying to have my cake and eat it to.
And if, in those moments, I could be more present, I would be more capable of being truthful more often.
Perhaps there are some that are enlightened. Â Or fully present all the time.
But for me, and I suspect that for most, it is more a journey, a process, and something that has to be pursued ongoing…
This is one of my personal stumbling blocks. Â This behavior is something that I will continue to work on. Â But the analysis, the ability to see that this is my action, this is what I need to work on. Â That is the break in the cycle that allows for change.
<two days late!>
Saturday was definately a bike day. Â Morining with the family. Â Then load the Big Dummy up with the race bike and a change of clothes.
Ride down to Pioneer Park, register and race the State Circuit Race.
I got shelled.
It was my first crit of the year. Â May 8th and my first crit of the year. Â Not that I haven’t tried mind you. Â I did the stage race in St. George, but the crit was cancelled due to winds. Â I tried to go to a RMR, but it was cancelled due to winds.
So while my real and only goal was to finish, I was unable to do that. Â I missed the start by a bit and went too far backwards in the pack. Â After the first two laps I looked back and thought “man I am way to back.” Â Only 5-10 people behind me and that is not where I wanted to be.
But the tempo. Â The tempo was so fast it was damn near impossible for me to move up. Â I knew what I wanted to do, but was unable to do it. Â But I didn’t give up. Â I kept going when gapped out. Â Then they pulled me.
So I changed, loaded the dummy back up, and headed to the Tour De Brewtah to meet the last half.
It was great. Â I hope they do it again next year and let more folks in.
On the way home from that, I rode past a friends house and he was sitting on the porch with his new pup. Â I stopped and was offered another beer.
We sat together and chatted and I got to unload a bit of a burden. Â It was nice to have a friendly ear.
Then I loaded up again and rolled home.
7 hours out of the house, three stops and not a car in sight.
p.s. the coffee mug handlebar holders they sell work excellent for pint glasses as well!05.7.10
No introspection tonight. Â No deep thoughts.
Tomorrow is State Criterium Championships.
I intend to race. Â I do not intend to win. Â I intend to stay in the field, pack surf well and then if it comes down to a sprint, be there for it.
In my humble opinion, a State Criterium Championship should in some way reward technical skill in bicycling. Â It should require both left and right turns. Â Preferably with both linked together, even more so if the linking of these turns is such that pedalling in between is impractical at best.
A rectangle around a city park is more of a very short circuit race in this one racer’s opinion.
One of my favorite single issues of a bike magazine was the June 1988 issue of Bicycle Guide. Â The “Special Issue” on “The Essence of Cycling”.
30 Pages of CONTENT.
Pages and pages of writing. Â Individual articles on:
On the inside. (the sport that is)
On the outside.
The road not taken.
From road to mud.
In that 30 pages of writing and fabulous photography, there were a sum total of 5 ads. Â There were no articles on how to descent faster. Â No pacing tips for time trials. Â No coaching plans for how to do well at your next hillclimb.
Just fabulous writing on the JOYS of each of these aspects of the sport of cycling. Â Perhaps I will have to post these soon in the future. Â The writing is excellent. Â It makes you want the sun to come out and go ride.
But for today, I leave you with Ted Costantino’s opening sentence from “Descents”
I have passed through some small percentage of the world’s great scenery in full Â tuck.
So I have this little story that has been brewing in the back of my head since I went down St. George for two days of dirt and beer.
Sunday, the group decided not to ride. Â I on the other hand would take any free day and opportunity to ride some new trails. Â So I loaded up the Gooseberry Mesa Trail gpx that Dave Harris sent me (THANKS! – I would have been so lost without it!) and after we all had breakfast, I drove out there by myself.
I get there, there are a few folks hanging around at the rest room, then I suit up and head out. Â Having never been out this way, I pay pretty close attention to the GPS. Â I was glad I did – I would have probably gotten pretty lost without it.
With the route finding less than easy, I ended up after the first 15 minutes releasing all expectations of “training” and left it as a mental day, a chance to just ride. Â If you don’t do that often, I <in my best ferris bueller voice> highly recommend it.
We I got to one of the outcrops, I spent about half an hour pretty much alone except the 3 Germans that rode past contemplating my life, issues, hangups and situation. Â It was excellent time and the weather and scenery couldn’t have been better.
I rode on, refreshed and happy. Â Met a nice couple from Crested Butte also there for the first time. Â I told them how trail 401 is probably in my opinion of the top 3 of all time anywhere. Â They comment on how nice it was to be able to see everywhere from anywhere on the trail. Â Ironic to me as one of the best features of trail 401 is that you are miles from home, and cannot see your destination. Â Three ridge lines and many miles of downhill single track separate you from the real world.
But back that the courtesy part.
The Germans were courteous. “Hi” and “Allo”. Â The couple from Crested Butte were courteous and chatted about their lives and mine.
My next encounter was not so courteous.
I took a wrong turn next and ended up on the double track that b-lines (where does that come from) straight to the car. Â After a bit of that, a group pops out of a side trail I hadn’t noticed. Â I stopped to get some info on what/where/how that trail connects back in as it wasn’t on the trail Dave gave me.
I pull with a “Hey, how’s it going” trail greeting. Â Get a general “Guud” from the group. Â Then the one guy in the group on a Kona singlespeed says “Hey, aren’t you from Salt Lake? Â I am on a SS at this point and think cool, someone nice who apparently knows me, but I don’t know him. Â I respond that I am in fact from SL, UT.
To which he then response “You’re a fucking asshole who almost ran me over several times in Dry Creek”.
His buddy jumps in and quasi-jokingly says, “Hey, there are seven of us, do you want us to kick his ass?”
The KonaBoy tries to quote me the IMBA rules of the trail and that downhill traffic has to yield to uphill traffic.
Which of course I know, and if you have ever ridden with me, I am very COURTEOUS. Â I have and use a bell religiously. Â I yield to uphill traffic. Â I am polite to all trail user and usually TALK to them “How’s it going?” Â ”Have a nice hike.” etc. etc.
But Dry Creek is an interesting place. Â It IS in fact wide enough in most places for uphill as well as downhill traffic to continue without stopping while passing each other. Â Slowing down is in fact courteous. Â Slowing down on a trail that can be eight feet wide is in fact yielding. Â Continuing on a path that allows me to pass the uphill traffic without them having to deviate from their chosen line, to me is in fact the spirit of the IMBA’s rules of the trail.
Nowhere does it say that you have to come to a complete stop. Â The reason is, many trails are such that it is unnecessary and they clearly have enough foresight to not want all trail users come to a complete stop every time they see another user.
The point in choosing a good word like YIELD is that it allows users in the situation to use appropriate COURTEOUSY to handle all encounters.
Courtesy I feel that I have always shown while riding Dry Creek.
But what really boggles my mind about my experience on Gooseberry is this.
KonaBoy didn’t yell at me on the trail in Salt Lake. Â If I did it multiple times to him, you would think he would have said something by at least the second or third time, like maybe “Hey! Â Slow down! Â That is too fast for my comfort level!”
To which I gladly would have obliged. Â Really.
Probably apologized on the spot.
But instead, he let this notion that I was an asshat fester inside him until many moons later when he had the support of his group of friends in a far away town he addresses me and calls me names.
So he buried this animosity inside him until he came to a situation where he felt supported enough to confront it.
I know I am not always living in the present, but if the rest of the world is living this far in the past, wow.
So, if you see me out on a trail, and you feel that I am not being courteous to you in how I pass you. Â I apologize. Â And I hope that you will stop me in the moment and tell me that you were uncomfortable with my pass.
I would not be angry, I would be courteous and appreciative that you were able to tell me in the moment I made you uncomfortable.
And I promise to do the same.
I started with a path down eastern philosphy. Â I would like to return to that path before this month is up.
I also didn’t link to anything or post pictures or hide behind color or italics or deep punctuation. Â I have references to most of what I cribbed and will probably come back to it and annotate it later.
But for today. Â I want to continue down the path of CONTENT which is what this experiment was designed for.
Last post, I talked about living in the present. Â But in this day and age of twitter and facebook and whatever other collaboration internet tools you use, the present is not PRESENT. Â But more a leveraged opportunity to shout out to others what you are doing.
I started this project to have something to say. Â And ironically, it started with something to say about nothing.
So what today? Â Choices.
This past week was (ok, for bike geeks) a good week with the tour of the gila happening in New Mexico. Â This is the 24th Tour there. Â And it was pointed out that local stud has been doing it non-stop for the past 16 years.
His first one was in 1997.
My first Tour of the Gila was in 1997.
How different our lives were. Â And have been since.
In 1997, I got my category 3 upgrade. Â I wanted to race hard. Â I wanted to see the real races. Â I wanted to see what fast was.
I went to two big races in 1997. Â In addition to Gila, I also did Killiington Stage Race in Vermont. Â I was about as thin as I have been ever in 1997, and still the hills handed my ass to me. Â The stage race had climbs of sustained 20% grades. Â The TT was uphill.
I learned a lot. Â And I struggled emotionally as my then girlfriend and now wife went with me to that race. Â She was ill and still wanted to be there with me. Â I was thankful she was there.
I did Gila one more time the next year. Â Again, I did not finish.
And then I made some choices in my life.
These choices have had dramatic impacts on where I am today. Â What my situation is. Â And what the future could hold for me.
But I made them. Â With full cognition of what I was choosing and where it might take me.
Actually, I had day two written and edited (twice) already today.
But I just moved that thought to the back burner, poured a pint of the summer bock (still a little low on carbonation) and started a new thought.
The world is still spinning in my mind. Â Uncertainty and doubt of what the future holds swirls around attempting to further confuse my thoughts and actions.
Presence is still important.
But in the past 30+ hours, art seems to resonate with me. Â Movies seem more than typically to apply to my situation.
Music, melody and lyrics seem as if to be written for me, about me, about now.
There is a resonance in so much of what I have seen these most recent of hours.
It brings forth a wellspring of emotion and thought…
And if feels like I can literally hear the gearbox in my mind downshifting from superego, to ego and all the way back into the id.
It is like my mind is spinning inside a shell uncontrollably. Â And the resonance, these points in time and art that seem to matter. Â That seem to crystallize for me. Â The are the spinning orb reaching out to the shell to form attachments. Â To stabilize the orbit and bring it all back into control.
A touch point here and a degree of freedom is removed.
Another removes some of the counter rotation. Â The third leaves it as merely a flat spin. Â There – that is a problem I can control. Â That is something that I can own and act on.
And it helps.
But is it real? Â Is it a coping mechanism? Â Is it something that I am using to rein myself in with and merely a tool.
Or is it really a resonance of my life with another’s art?
And does that really matter one way or another?
I have made mistakes, I know in these current events. Â But in some way, I will find clarity and forcefulness in my actions and I will go through as I hope to be. Â And if it be a connection to others works, perhaps inspired by their own turmoil, that helps me gain control of my spin – is that not what matters most?
This too shall pass.
I guess I picked a really poor time in my life to start this project. Â I originally inteneded it to be 365 days of writing, each day. Â But my friend the Mop suggested that we start with 30 and go from there. Â That seems a better place to start for me.
A bomb went off in my life today.
It isn’t something I am able, willing or ready to share with anyone, much less the public forum yet…
But it brings me to what I want to discuss today…
There is a line in “Kung Fu Panda”, yeah, I know, a kids animated movie… but it is from the Tao, and recently I reread the Tao of Pooh (yeah, another kids story – hey, I am surrounded by kids) and it reminded me that the phrase was in the movie.
And while is wasn’t really a teaching moment in a Kung Fu movie… I think that it is something children will take away or at a minimum absorb on some level:
“Yesterday is a memory.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
Thatâ€™s why they call it the present.”
That is my struggle. Â Both in my life daily, but also in this present. Â To remain present. Â To feel your emotions, accept them and embrace them without being overwhelmed or controlled by them. Â To remain present, and in the present.
So many of us, myself included have lived parts if not all of our lives in fear of the future, or chasing a feeling from the past.
The past, we all reconstruct over and over in our minds until it fits what we are trying to achieve. Â We relive moments and try to return to it as if were better than the here and now.
The future can be a beacon of light, shining hope. Â Or it can be a dark void of fear and dispare. Â I read recently that “Anxiety is nothing…but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance”. Â How true that is. Â When I get anxious about the future, my future, is it me examining the possibilities? Â Or is it reliving the worst case scenarios in my mind over and over?
The present is so much more enjoyable when the ego is checked at the door and you allow yourself to be present.
Today, I left the house at around 9:45 and I rode the dummy. Â I rode the dummy and did errands. Â I rode the dummy and picked up the kids from school. Â I rode the dummy with the boys to lunch, then the bookstore and then home around 2.
And betwen those 4+ hours, in those moments today, I was present. Â Perhaps not for the rest of the day. Â Perhaps not at some of the times I really wanted to be today, but for more than 4 hours I was. Â And I will call that a start of something.
For me, the bike is a tool, a key that opens a doorway in my mind to the present. Â Aware of my surrounds in a way that the rest of the day and world try to prevent. Â i need to keep unlocking that door daily. Â It makes me a better person. Â It helps make me whole.
I hope that everyone has a key and can find it in their life.
All the best. Â And in the words of the Mop – Allons-y!
Where to start? Still shooting for over 140 characters, and so an update of the weekend.
Friday was the 5yo’s birthday. I opted to celebrate it for the weekend with him and the rest of the fam instead of chasing fitness at a race I did not have enough of that commodity to do well in.
But the race proved fortuitous as there was a friend of a friend of a friend (really!) who was coming down to race from Boise. I had been looking at a bike that was listed in the Boise Craigslist* that had been on my mind for about 18 months. I first got interested in a Xtracycle when the privateer pointed me to them. He didn’t have one yet, but was thinking of building one. He eventually made one out of his Stumpjumper and I got to ride it at training camp last year. Last Interbike we spent a fair amount of time looking at the Xtracycle booth… and the surly booth. Surly makes a bike with an integrated Xtracycle called the “big dummy”. I was in love.
I have aspirations of building it with a rohloff and son hubs on large marge rims… but all out the door that is an almost $5k proposition. And with two little boys who may or may NOT be too keen on being schleped around town on it, seemed a big nut to crack. I bided my time and looked and looked for a good deal on a used one.
*Tangent – how to find what you need when your local craigslist doesn’t seem to have it? well CL does a nice favor for us all in the way they localize the site to a city. instead of craigslist.org/<your city name> they choose to use the city in the prefix of the url ala <your city name>.craigslist.org. What does that mean to you? It means that you can do a google query over all of the indexed craigslist via the following search term “big dummy site:craigslist.org/bik/“ returning results of “big dummy” within all the CL bike listings. Cool eh? I digress…
One racer was kind enough to pick up the bike from the owner and another was kind enough to haul it down to me, all for the low, low fee of some beer.
Bike people rule. The price of the dummy in Boise was in the sweet spot, but I just couldn’t bring myself to drive both directions to pick up a bike that would help me not drive.
So what does any self-respecting bike dork do with a brand new (to them) bike? Take half of it apart! I pulled the bars, stem, grips, seatpost and saddle off and put some stuff I had around (kinda waiting for the dummy) on it. I still have some other immediate changes, but I didn’t want to tear into shifters for wont of a desire to actually ride it this past weekend.
I also had found the stoker stem on CL for a deal @ $25 and with the old mtb bar, the kids had a place to hold on – for now. I few trips around the block and the neighbors wanted to try it out:
Sunday, I took the 6yo to the park with basketball, picnic lunch and toys on the back. Today we ran our sole errand on it, a 6.2 mile jaunt that was made into an adventure and almost spoiled with the weather. Sorry, no pics. I chose not to dilly dally on the way home and potentially get wet/cold/snowed on on the first real task given to the dummy.
I doubt that tomorrow will be car-free with the weather forecast and the kiddos (sorry, I am not hard core), but the rest of the week looks good.
The kids love the bike’s name “Dummy” and today there was already a request to be picked up from school on the Dummy. Dunno how long that will last, but if they are still into it after the newness wears off, I will be ecstatic.
I guess I should write about P-R* and the #reasonsGeorgeDidntWinParisRoubaix context, but I will save that for another 700+ words another time this week.
*And an initial tasting of the Saison that is bottle conditioning… a little flat, but as to be expected 6 days after bottling…more later.
Thanks for reading,
Since I have been kind of challenged by the Mop, I thought I would take the time to write a longer than 140 character update.
What is it about the spring classics that find me making Belgian/Flemish style beers?
Last year, around this time, I made a Belgian Golden Strong called â€œDuivel de lâ€™Arbreâ€ or â€œDevil of the Arbreâ€ in honor of Boonenâ€™s decisive move at Paris-Roubaix in the forest of Arbre.
This year, I rebrewed the BGS as well as made a Saison, another beer that comes (generally) from that area on the French/Belgium border.
Letâ€™s start back at the beginning.
March with the passing of a new anniversary for me. My â€œbrewversaryâ€. It has been more than one year that I have been making beer.
In 12 months I brewed 14 5 gallon batches of beer (Ok 13 batches of beer and 1 batch of hard cider).
Here is what I made (in order):
- Belgian Golden Strong
- Helles Bock
- Coffee Stout
- Irish Red
- Dry Hard Cider
- Brown Porter
- Summer Bock (2nd batch)
- American Pale Ale
- Belgian Golden Strong (2nd batch)
Not bad for a yearâ€™s worth of work. 70 gallons of full strength alcohol in a state where they charge an arm and a leg for it at the liquor store.
This year, I have designs to almost double the amount I do. The goal of this is to improve as fast as possible. I am redoing most if not all of the batches I did last year (you can see above that I have already started that process in the bock and BGS).
I want to correct technical mistakes of certain styles that I did incorrectly last year (wrong fermentation temp of the bock and kolsch). I want to do split batches to see the differences yeast make. Already with the Saison, I have split the batch and bottled half as brewed and bottled half with wild Brettanomyces (more on wild yeast another time).
Tangent: The Watcher has a guest week going on and the latest guest posted about yeast today. Kinda stole my idea. More on that later, with the wild yeast.
Nested Tangent: I stole the Tangent/Nested Tangent idea from Watcher.
And I want to get to a level of consistency whereby I can make a style of beer to the guidelines and know what I am doing.
Here is my brew calendar for my sophomore year:
February Saison / Summer Bock* / APA
March BGS* / Kolsch
April Wheat / Cal Common – Jason’s Yeast / Pilsner
May Oktoberfest* / Coffee Stout* (split batch) / Sarah’s Pils / Sarah’s Stout
June Sarah’s APA / 10.10.10.10
July Nut Brown Ale / Schwartzbeir*
August Dunkelweizen / Xmas Beer
September Shiner Clone
October Irish Red*
And I have published it on google docs here if you want to see it be update:
I had originally planned to do 24 batches and brew 2x per month. But my family asked me to make the beer for my sisterâ€™s wedding in July so I added 3 batches to make 27 this year.
Now. All that is great, but without pictures, it is all a little drab and flat, no?
First Temperature controlled batch.
First batch in the kegerator
Active yeast starter
More to follow. And you can see in the schedule that there are openings for new styles, so feel free to make suggestions.
I think I am going to make a Flanders Sour in honor of George at Paris Roubaix: #ReasonsGeorgeDidntWinParisRoubaix
There mop 601 words for you.
I am stealing mine from Flahute with one edit on #6:
- Ski more.
- Bike more.
- Sleep more.
- Shoot more (photos).
- Write more.
- Eat better.
- Drink (more or less, depending).
- Work wiser.
- Save more money.
- Lose more weight.
- Piss off fewer people.
- Survive and thrive another year.