Wednesday, August 27, 2014

47 MPH


My mind wanders lately. Like my writing. Unable to draw a straight line, or even really make a coherent connection from thought one to B I take off on my bike whenever I can. Though it is never enough. The responsibilities of the day must be attended to first.

 The smoker two cubicles down is really pissing me off today. Her scent is stronger and dirtier than usual. I don't begrudge smokers, having been one myself. What I do have a problem with is that so many smokers seem to loose all sense of personal hygiene - a regular clothes washing and shower would go a long way to rectifying the situation right now. There is a difference between the smell of tobacco smoke and tobacco smoke, BO, and filth.

Just saying.

I've been putting on road miles lately. Climbing. Descending. Motivating. Clocking in a number of 25+ mile commute days with additional miles on the weekends.

Last weekend it was 25 miles from my house up to mile 16 at Hatcher's Pass - the parking lot and location of a downhill biking trail. I was going to ride it, but decided, due to a time constraint that it wouldn't be the right time to do so. It's always fun climbing 10% grades on the fat bike. People tend to gawk. As if I have defied the laws of physics or something. Going down. Now that's where it's at. The fastest I clocked was 47 miles per hour. Fast. Been slightly faster before on a full squish mountain bike. 52. That was scary. Squirrely. 47 on fat was like riding a cloud.


Yesterday I ended a 33.5 mile commute day by clocking in 10 miles of road and trail in Anchorage before catching the bus and another 15 miles of road in the valley.

Met up with a road biker at one point, who was obviously doing the same loop as I, just in reverse, as I caught up with him at Trunk road - his route around 6 miles and mine around 9. I hope he had taken a rest or went to Turners to add some miles or something, because my 17 mph average wasn't that fast - Though I like to think that I am just that awesome of a rider that the fatty can keep up with anything…

This weekend? Don't know. The kids have a cross country race. I might try to get in some trail riding before or after. Maybe ride up to Hatcher's again and see just how far back I can go on Gold Mint before the terrain becomes way too much for my limited skills.

Or maybe I'll just not ride at all?

I feel like I have to squeeze so much in before the weather truly turns. Maybe that's why I'm so scatter brained? Or maybe it's just the start of the new semester at school, when I have even more things to keep aligned than usual. This, too, will pass.

I'm getting old.

One more birthday, fast approaching, before I enter another decade, the decade where people used to be considered middle aged, or even old. Maybe I have less life ahead of me than behind? At least fewer of the good years. Or maybe not? Maybe as my life winds down I'll find time to do all those things I always thought I wanted to do?

There is something to be said for the confidence that seems to come with age. As if all the years of self doubt will just magically slip away.

Existential crisis averted? Metaphysical graffiti? When does nostalgia become curmudgeondom?

Retro grouch.

Is that all there is left?

I once stated, in a public forum, that I wanted to ride to Nome the year I turn 40. Suppose I better get on training for that.

I really don't feel like I am nearly 40. Hell, most days I feel like I am still 16 and so unsure of what to do that I find it hard to do anything. Thank the stars that acne isn't really a concern anymore. Nor is trying to fit in or wear the right clothes.

But the rest. Oh the rest is still there. Angst. Anger. Uncertainty. Doubt. Fecklessness. Recklessness. Invincibility. Invisibility. Desire. Stasis. Confusion.

I'd still jump blind from train trestles if the water weren't so cold. Would drive my car fast on narrow winding roads if I had a car that would go fast. I still ride wheelies whenever I get the chance because they are cool. 


When do I grow up? Do I want to grow up? I often want to ask my dad if he felt like an adult when he was 40. He was starting a business and had been running multimillion dollar construction jobs for years by that point. How does one broach that topic?

When do you know you're a man and not a child? Ever? Why does everyone else seem to have it so together and I don't?


The barometer. That's it. That's what's punching these thoughts into my mind. Has to be. Someday I'll get it right. Right? That's what I keep telling myself. Until then I'll ride the twisting thoughts away, grind them up in my chain and spit them out.

Did you hear the one about the polar bear and the priest?

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