It’s been a long time. The night before…. before what? Something you may do without thinking, just to pass the time, or to keep the high. For me this marks a significant departure from the latticework of life that I’ve been growing into and, by all outward appearances, failing to grow out of, for a long time. I have built this last year into a prescient model of assistance. I’m where I am because I wanted to free myself from dependence and help someone besides myself for a change. On the face of it, it appears I’m just going to race tomorrow.
Why does it feel like more? I’m going to participate, I’m sure I’m not going to place. I’m entering a world I’ve been long apart from. I work on your bike. I fix your shit. I make sure you get to go. To ride, to race, whatever. I’m background noise on your vacation, your adventure. You’re going to take your girl (or your guy, or your friends, or yourself) on a leisurely ride in a place you love, or maybe have never visited. You broke that dangly bit on your bike, and you’re afraid that your precious time, your special time might be over – I can fix that. Hooray for me (for you).
But I haven’t slipped into this scene in a great many years. Maybe it’s still my scene too. I can’t tell if I’m actually nervous, or drunk on the notion that I’m finally, actually, teething to go back at it. A 55.5K length of Pisgah brutality that I’m going to bite my nail at on a 160mm enduro bike.
But you know what? Fuck it. Here’s to all those years I let bullshit keep me from doing my best, keep me from doing these things. Here’s to the people that say I’m doing it on the wrong bike, and it’s going to hurt, or I’m going to drop. Here’s to this day, my way, and all the stupid little clichés I can insert into this ridiculous collection of barely formed sentences.
Rubber side down, enter the pain cave, breathe the burning muscle, and hit the bar when it’s all over.
“Cause we drown.
We drown in it,
A little bit.
Between kinda living
And really gone
Right off the deep end.”