Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Irrationally Exuberant

I’d like to think that Hemingway - were he alive and younger, perhaps less inclined to drink and womanize, and more focused on outdoor adventure sports - would have dearly approved of Sunday’s quasi-team ride at the Soquel Demo Forrest. Yes, indeed he would have approved of it (cigarette in mouth, drink in hand), and subsequently would have written about it tersely, as he did. But lest I confuse you, I’d like to clear up a misconception that I have perhaps already perpetuated with my idiomatic prose – we drink and womanize too. But I digress, for this journal entry, practically coerced out of me by my teammates, is meant to address strictly those matters pertaining to our preparations for the forthcoming 24-hour race we’ve entered. And physically and mentally ill prepared as we might be for this monumentally diabolic peregrination to the outstretches of humanity (Utah), where we’ve plans to cycle for a straight 24 hours, we’ve certainly spent a lot of time discussing our jersey design. And so despite alarming similarities between this race we’ve entered on our own volition, and to the mythical damnation of Sisyphus to a perpetuity of misery, at least we’ll look damn good and team-like.

And Sisyphean as this whole thing might be, I must confess that I am quite looking forward to my first lap under the moonlight - headlamp strapped in and cold desert wind in my face. I suspect that I might rethink a lot of things about my life after having completed several laps as such. And truth-be-told, I, asymptotically approached these same feelings Sunday driving back from the trail, music blaring, during what I fondly refer to as the ‘post-ride meta’ period. This was after our proverbially epic sojourn through the hearts and minds of the Soquel Demo Forrest; and indeed after a ride like that, one can’t help but rethink, in a pseudo-metaphysical fundamentalist sort of way, their current needs as they relate the importance of material wealth and its direct impact on ones general well-being. And the conclusion my dear readership? The conclusion that I so elaborately and enigmatically concluded? That given the option of 5 hours straight on nothing other than euphoric single track, I realize that mostly nothing else in life matters. Nothing, least of all material wealth. So what am I left with, you may ask, aside from my minimalist temperament? I’m left with the notion of eschewing all that is material; in favor of concentration on my next ride and hucking that next drop-off or plank-ramp.

And yes, I might agree with you as you ask how in the world might I even consider calling myself a minimalist, eschewing superficialities, when I ride a many thousand-dollar mountain bike, play my iPod full of obscure indie music for pre-ride enthusiasm, and like my lattes half-caff with soy milk (before every ride, indeed); and I might agree with you, and question this myself, as my definition of minimalist and minimalism quite certainly spits in the face of the cabin-dwelling loner living in the woods with only his axe and bare knuckles. But lest you forget, my overly pedantic readership, that we are by and far the Tyler Durden generation, and despite our obsession with the Ikea catalog and its cleverly shaped coffee tables, we’ve all our own set of priorities; and that as evidenced by the fact that up until very recently I slept on a mattress on the floor of an empty bedroom, it is clear that I’ve prioritized in favor of epic days trail blazing on my bike through the bay area’s finest.

And yes, I realize it was a very expensive Tempurepedic mattress on the floor. Minimalism at all costs.


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