Now is the winter of our content Dec27

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Now is the winter of our content

As we enter the Winter season, it’s become obvious to me that this website is going to spend a few months in a bear-like state of bike blog hibernation. Sure, we’ll keep writing things. But they’ll suck. The “Routes” and “Races” sections of the site will grow dusty while the “Movies starring the guy from Home Improvement” and “Types of brownies for sale at New Seasons” sections flourish. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But the race season is over, so I’m awkwardly trying to figure out things to talk about. The same way I do at the parties that you don’t invite me to but I show up at anyway (I’m talking to you, Veloshop!)

It doesn’t matter. Because the winter is the time to slow down, anyway. To take a step back and look at the world around us. Assess our situations and make changes for the coming year. It is also the time to eat a ton of food and lay on the couch while your family watches Mama Mia, repeatedly asking aloud “Is this an ABBA song, too?” Yes, family. For the last time, they are all ABBA songs.

Anyway, here are my observations and potential new year resolutions.

Mentally: My limited brain capacity is being wasted on stupid bike stuff. So I plan to stockpile my brainpower this year. Like a mental savings program, a 401k for my mind. My goal is to think about bikes 5% less every day, and put this “thought surplus” into a savings account (or what Al Gore might repeatedly call a “lockbox”) where it will earn a respectable 2% interest. My normal friends will be happier that I’m no longer boring them with bike talk. And at the end of the year I plan to withdraw my mental investment and spend it on one of the following three things:

1. Cure gout
2. Develop a pizza crust that is both made of, and filled with, cheese
3. Genetically engineer a dog and a cat with thumbs, and teach them how to review movies

Physically: I’m a lousy bike racer. I think that this is because the incentive system is all wrong. I feel like Sylvester Stallone at the beginning of the movie Over the Top. He was a lousy arm wrestler. He arm wrestled in truck stops for pocket change (and “arm wrestling” is not a euphemism here.) But then he went to the some kind of International Arm Wrestling Championships where the prize (ie: his incentive) was a new truck. And he became the best professional truck driver/semi-professional arm wrestler in the nation. He didn’t even need a training montage. He just thought about the fancy new truck he could win while Kenny Loggins sang “House at Pooh Corner.” Then he turned his hat around and arm wrestled his ass off (not literally -- that would be a sign he was arm wrestling incorrectly.) That truck was his incentive, and it helped him achieve his goals. So back to bike racing: I’ve found that riding as fast as possible is uncomfortable. I get out of breath. And I sweat. And my mouth hangs open making me look like a dope. And what do I get for it? Additional discomfort. The act of racing carries a disincentive. I need a better reason to work hard. I need a truck. Offer me a truck as an incentive so I can pursue my dream of truck driving, and I’ll be a better racer. Just like Stallone. If possible, I’d also like a personal soundtrack by Kenny Loggins. In the style of Danger Zone. But I’ll settle for a training montage.

Professionally: My job makes me sad. And by “job” I mean the thing I’m supposed to be doing when I’m actually writing about bikes and Burt Reynolds movies. But I’d like to be a better employee. So I will start by applying myself to my current “strongly encouraged” (ie: mandatory) unpaid holiday break. I’ve excelled at not working for these first few days. I’ve been working harder at not working than any other task my employer has ever given me. And it feels fantastic to finally be reaching my potential at something. I could do this forever. And so I am hoping to¬†apply my new found passion for not-working into my daily life, extending this forced vacation, in the hopes that my employer will notice my gumption and go-getter attitude, extending my break. Perhaps indefinitely.

Here’s the trailer for Over the Top. To motivate us all to be better people. Just like Lincoln Hawkes, professional arm wrestler: