Hey folks, I have a confession to make. I use Strava. Ok, ok, take it easy…put the pitchforks away and call off your dogs. I know I have, in the past, talked a good amount of shit on the typical Strava user. And as a self-proclaimed “retro grouch” it goes against my old school ways of “disconnecting” from the outside world while I partake in a ride. After all, riding feeds the soul right? And I wasn’t about to be feeding my soul and stop to take any calls on my cell or have “the man” track me through GPS. Fuck that. Am I right? Fuckin’ A I was right.
Ok, let me explain a bit. If it helps my case here, I was skeptical of it for a while. And I resisted using it for even a longer while. I still don’t use it like most Strava users. And I don’t pay to use it. And for now, I am A-OK with that. And I say “for now” because I have learned in my older (read wiser) years to never say never. So there it is…I use Strava.
The reason I bring this up is because I just got an e-mail from Strava thanking me for “taking them along for the ride.” Ok, you’re welcs Strava. No prob. They seem to have a hashtag as well…#ridewithus I actually don’t know if this is new or not because I am super new to hashtags too. Anyway, there was a video embedded in the e-mail body that I took the 2-3 minutes to watch. It was pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. I actually expected a lot more, I dunno, emotion? Not sure. I wasn’t as moved as I thought I was going to be. Maybe it was the music selection. Well, the video must have moved me quite a bit ’cause it got me thinking. As I was watching all of these people enjoying the bicycle in many various forms and disciplines, I thought to myself: “self I say, goddamn I want to ride my bike right now.” And it really hit me. I have been feeling this way for almost a year, I just want to ride my bike everywhere, all of the time. I mean everywhere and I mean all of the time. Is that weird? I surely don’t think it is.
I am going to be 50 years young in July 2015 and all I want to do is ride my fucking bike. What the hell is wrong with me? Seriously, is there something wrong with that? I am pretty sure there is. I don’t know what, but something.
There is nothing wrong with it. I am not selling all of my shit and leaving society. I know I still have to work. I’m not done raising my children. I have my wife to think about. I know I need money. But I don’t have most of the responsibilities that most 50 year olds do. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t have any debt or credit cards. Our one car is paid for.
I can do this. I want to scale my life way down. You know like a “surf-bum” I want to be a “bike-bum.” I don’t need fancy shit. I just need my bikes. I don’t need some high paying job that eats up all of my time. I would say “spare time” but there is no such thing as “spare time.” I just need a job that can keep my wife and I in bikes, parts, a small place to stay and food. Seriously. This needs to happen. Wouldn’t it make me a healthier person in mind, body and soul? It sure the fuck would.
I mean, it feels like I need to wake up and make some real changes in my life. It makes me cry sometimes, the heaviness of my situation. I mean I’m not dying or anything, I just want to live more. And I just feel like I am wasting time, lots of valuable, unrecoverable time.
That being said, I really don’t need to be doing anything in my life that I don’t want to do. I don’t need to be spending time with people that I don’t want to. I don’t need to be around people that are negative and unsupportive of me and mine. I don’t need my ass kissed, but if you call me a friend than act like it, or at the very least treat me the way I treat you.
Wait, hold the phone…being that I am right around 50 years old this might be my time to go through a mid-life crisis. Is that what this overwhelming feeling is? I’m not sure. It doesn’t feel like it. It feels real and it feels urgent.
Whatever it may be, it has convinced me to start making some real changes in my life. I am not sure where I am going to start. I know my best friend, Maria (my wife) will be right there with me. Am I scared? Yes. I don’t want mid-life to play me for a chump and have this be fleeting. I don’t want to make these changes for myself and have me think later: “what the fuck did I do?” I want this to stick and I am ready to make the sacrifices to be where I want to be with my life. I can be brave like I have been so many other times in my life.
I can. And I will. And…here…we…go.
I know, you might say that I am a goddamn lunatic because I am willing to make these giant life changing choices just to spend more time on my bikes…and I would say, “well, that’s not all of it.” Oh, but it would be, it would be goddamn all of it.
Because riding my bikes as many miles as I have left in me and in as many different places as I can…it really is all I want to do.
One thought on “All I Want to Do”
Well Ron, This is pretty good timing that I came upon your blog through FB and catching up reading this. It is a crazy feeling that you express here. Add ten years, (I will turn 60 this coming March) and I am right there with you. My situation is a bit different than yours as I would not have my wife’s support when I have expressed an idea to scale things back with our lifestyle now that I am finishing up the college thing for my kids.
Ride my bike, every damn day. I am not sure where this came from. I am like you, grew up with a bike under my butt but it did not turn into my profession. I know of many people that turned their passion into their profession and ruined that passion. That was my thing with skiing. I started to ski as a kid and when I got out of college I got a job as an instructor. Thought I had the world by the balls. Four years later I was done and did not enjoy skiing and did not get on the snow for about four years.
Anyway, I have found a way to commute on my bike to my job for most of the days and it keeps me always wanting more which is a good feeling. I take some time off during basketball season ( I coach High School Boys) and that really gets me fired up for the new season. I am looking forward to the retirement thing and really getting some tours going on my Surly’s.
Good luck with the scale back thing!! I’ll be looking for some pointers and guidance.