The last few weeks have been a crazy mix of old and new. Old friends in new places, new friends in old places, friendless in old places, friended in new ones; in short I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. I’m like this big anxious mass of memories wading awkwardly through the present with half an eye on the future- I’m generally not having much luck at anything. According to 30somethings, this is how 20somethings are supposed to feel, which is really comforting. Really.
So I try to verbalize. I thought about lists, photo blogs and a how-to guide I had no business writing. I even thought about making a really reflective, sincere effort at processing this last chunk of life, but instead I’m just going to pick a few things and reminders that have made me really happy in the last twenty days, four states, and eight couches/beds/sleeping bags. Because without the stuff that makes you happy, what’s the point?
Chicken Soup in a Ball Jar
I was really sick when I drove to New Mexico to race Gila, but I’d already paid the entry fee so damnit, I was going! My mom loaded me up with herbs and soul food for the drive, and I prepared for what I fully assumed would be the hardest four days of my short, melodramatic life. The first two stages did indeed feel like death but day three felt ok, and by the time I rolled up to my last start I’d kicked my fever and pedaling felt great. It’s very likely that Moms and Chicken Soup alone could keep the world turning.
Dirtbag Stage Racing
Turns out you can have a lot of fun bike racing while also sleeping in a van and cooking all your meals on a camp stove. Special thanks to Silver City KOA for supplying showers and cookies(!) Javelina coffee for letting me loiter excessively over my kombucha, and my pals Kim and Marcus for extracting me from my van when I got lonely. Thanks also to ziploc for making the magical sealed glass tupperware, my new favorite travel item.
…And big ones. The kids I coach are awesome. Seriously. They ride their bikes on/in/through everything and their constant shenanigans remind me why I started doing this pedaling thing in the first place. They all have badass spirit animals, sport terrifying tanlines and can probably beat you at your sport of choice. They’re also a big part of the reason I’m training at all right now… must. keep. up.
Old friends, rooftops, warm nights- I’m really going to miss summer in Bozeman this year. I felt so incredibly lucky to have a few days back in town for some quick friendspiration, coffee in old haunts and unabashed groping of rocks- no matter how much time I spend elsewhere, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully quit that place. And I mean, how could I when my cruiser bike still resides there?
(To whoever stole my cruiser bike; Karma is coming. That is all.)
Because sometimes you’ve just gotta get on the ceiling.
Made better by a climbing intermission in Lander. The limestone there reminded me of Spain, and dramatic skies made for good contemplation. We climbed a few pitches, then disposed of burgers and malts in quantities completely disproportionate to our exertions. Through Splitrock by twilight- here’s to adding new memories to old roads.
Or just this one. Because he’s a total sweetheart and everything he does is hilarious.
I try to Verbalize, but it seems like I can never do these things justice. I used to write funny reports about bike racing. Then I wrote sad reports about not bike racing. Now I write hopelessy jumbled reports about some bike racing and some other things. Love the struggle! Or something like that… Thanks for checking in.