Balance

To paraphrase the late great Hunter S. Thompson “Bike racing is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits — a false doorway to the backside of life”. At the upper levels a Pro Tour rider will log 30,000 miles in a season. At the local fred level you have guys on $10k bikes and $300 a month coaches driving 20 hours in a weekend to race a crit for atta boys. This is not balance, this is obsession. Obsession is what it takes to get to the top of whatever metaphoric mountain you choose for yourself. To be at the top of any sport does not require balance, it demands inbalance. Endurance sports even more so. Balanced people don’t go ride 4 hours in 27 degree weather on Christmas Eve.

I used to spend hours at the park near my house practicing my cyclocross dismounts and remounts, in July. The dog walkers and frisbee players looked at me like I was an escaped mental patient. Who cares, they were balanced. I was not, to a spectacular degree. I would say most of the people I race with are the same. In the pro’s it is even more so. Consider this quote from Lance Armstong:

‘Once someone asked me what pleasure I got out of riding my bike for so long. “Pleasure?” I asked. “I don’t understand the question. I didn’t do it for pleasure. I did it for pain”.’

Balanced? I don’t think so. Einstein couldn’t remember his own address, Eddie Van Halen used to practice 8 hours a day, Sean Kelly famously said his wife was 3rd in his order of loves (Bike and car being 1 and 2). These are not balanced people and thank god for that!

Stop playing fantasy footbal, sell your golf clubs, stop watching the news. Go and kick balance in the junk. Ride your bike when you should be working, ride your bike in the snow, ride your bike during the Super Bowl. Ride your bike.
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