It seems like way more than a year ago that I was jetting around racing my bike, and I’ve begun to wonder if I’m not becoming a total homebody. Sometimes I even have dreams of building myself a really cool fort somewhere and, like, putting all my stuff in it and then staying there. Crazy, right? Is this hormonal? I don’t like it.
I didn’t realize when I started to distance myself from the race scene that I was also going to distance myself so much from the lifestyle, even the parts that I cherished. I used to love that I could live out of a suitcase for months on end and sleep on practically any surface, but these days I love it just as much that my clothes smell (mostly) clean and that I sleep (mostly) in beds. Maybe I’ve begun to mellow out in my old age.
Yet as some parts of the racer-me have begun to fade (rabid competitive urges, weird eating habits… and yes, finally even the tanlines) others have weathered the change in some interesting ways. Most noticeable is my attitude towards plans.
I was the sort of person who planned, down to the minute and the calorie, how my day would go. I once crashed my car- it was a horrible spinning-on-ice sort of crash- but I simply wired the broken parts back on to my car, drove to the next town, and then rode my bike for two hours on a freeway littered with broken glass. Why? Because I’d planned a training ride that day.
I’ve become more flexible in my year off the bike though, and when it rained/hailed/snowed nonstop for the last week in Bozeman, the only conceivable course of action, at least to Kyle and me, was to drive immediately to Idaho. We both had a lucky few days off work, and Idaho promised us dry things (both trails and rocks) so we hit the road with a vague plan consisting mostly of “not being in Bozeman anymore,” and “pasta.”
Six hours later we were climbing around on some gorgeous granite in the City of Rocks, which as it turns out is not a city at all but a magical place, similar to the Great Valley from the Land Before Time.
Come on. It’s the movie with the baby dinosaurs? Littlefoot, anybody? Tree Stars? Fifteen sequels? Ok fine.
When our arms started to hurt we decided to head over to Sun Valley for some bike riding. It’s no Great Valley, but if you’ve heard anything about Sun Valley and trails you know they’re superb. So are their breakfast burritos.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I said goodbye to racing, it’s that it’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t stick to any sort of plan.
And one last thought: Bozeman is the sort of place that’s always nice to return to, but it’ll drive you crazy if you stay too long. It’s like a mama bird that wants you home so it can puke in your mouth, but then it puts pokey things in the nest so you’re forced to fly away at your first chance. It does this not because it hates you, but because you’ve got to get better at flying.
While I can’t say my next trip will be as unplanned as this week’s, it was kind of an off-the-cuff decision. Departing next week!