Last Sunday I headed up to Globe to ride 6-shooter canyon. I can't top the posts of others, so I steer you to a more complete trip report through the fine postings of chollaball, or U2metoo's post on MTBR; however I will take this opportunity to focus on one picture taken by chollaball. For those interested in the holistic experience, please refer to the linked posts above by the folks who I had the pleasure of riding with. U2metoo has produced a pretty cool video of the trip located at either of the links above to include a scene showing the incident I am describing below.
I, however, want to focus on the ride from my point of view and from my new love, LaFawnduh. From this picture, you can clearly see that my bike has let me down; more specifically, it has dropped me like I was hot….but I’m not. My bike is way better than me….plain and simple. I’m not saying that LaFawnduh has let me down in the emotional sense or more specifically that she has disappointed me, rather; she has dumped me. My skills are well below the potential that LaFawnduh deserves, and occasionally she reminds me of this. When I look at myself on LaFawnduh, I am reminded of the picture of Truman Capote and Marilyn Monroe dancing….something does not look right. In this scenario, I am to Capote as LaFawnduh is to Monroe…..clearly a mismatch has occurred.
I’m not saying I won’t ever get better, but for now one could say that I have married well. The last time I felt such a void between the “potential of me” through top-notch equipment and the “reality of me” as exhibited by my marginal skills was a little less than 20 years ago when I was learning to ski. I had just bought my first real piece of ski equipment….a North Face Jacket – Scott Schmidt signature model….damn that thing looked good. But it quickly became apparent to me that the jacket looked better than my skiing did. This disturbed me, much like the picture of Capote and Monroe. I’ve never been one to pose, or to be a poseur; so I threw the gauntlet down at my feet, dug deep, and worked hard on skills to the point where my skiing said everything one needed to know about me….not the jacket. Flashing forward, I feel the same sense of dichotomy and void when I ride LaFawnduh. She is clearly a Formula 1 race car, and I; a Tommy Boy-esque like character behind the wheel....."I'm out here getting my ass kicked and every time I drive down the road. I wanna jerk the wheel INTO A GODDAMNED BRIDGE EMBANKMENT."
So with great humility and a sense of purpose; I am throwing down my gauntlet once more and challenging myself to push myself beyond my ability each and every ride. I made this pledge last year when I was first learning to ride, but I failed to move the bar up after achieving my initial goals. I’ve been resting on this comfortable plateau for a few months now, but it’s time to move on. I’ve ordered up some armor to protect my naked shins and knees from the inevitable scrapes, bumps and punctures which have plagued me this last year and have placed me on the bench occasionally or forced me to ride conservatively on longer days. I will now hammer obstacles over and over again until I see improvement, much as I did on skis. In the end….this is fun for me….solving problems. It just took me riding LaFawnduh for a week or so to realize that I was no longer solving problems….LaFawnduh was….by dumping me…in the creek…on my ass…..supine….with cameras flashing.