Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Hard Way

I was riding off road with friends recently.  The day progressed and the pace picked up, as it is wont to do when you get a bunch of racers and ex-racers together.  The terrain was mostly single track with some faster sections.  I was positioned at the tail end of the group (I hate having to look back for other riders behind me) and I noticed something interesting.

Whenever a particularly difficult section (rocks, roots, log jump, ruts, etc.) presented itself, each rider, to a man, took the easier way out when there was one.  The smoother path, the straighter one, the less challenging one.  Except me.  I continually chose the least favorable, least hospitable of the routes.  Sometimes this slowed me down, sometimes I fell down.  Occasionally I came out ahead of everyone while they took a circuitous path around some obstacle that I clambered over.

I guess it's human nature to take the path of least resistance.  Especially when trying to impress your buddies with how fast you are.  Somehow I couldn't help but feel I would be cheating myself, doing a disservice to my riding by cherry picking a route.  I had to do things the hard way.

I tried not to look too deeply into this, because then it starts to become a scary metaphor for your whole life and sheds light on a lot of things that might be better off left in the dark.  The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the over scrutinized one is not much fun either.

Nobody else wanted to ride through the slippery creek bed.  I was drawn to it.

Everything is a little harder on 27 year old equipment.  But no less fun.

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