Tuesday, March 29, 2005

EXTINCTION IMMINENT

Am I a dinosaur? I wondered about that on the way home from a bike ride last evening. Nine years ago when I first started biking, I was not too concerned about the fact that I was slower and less aggressive than the other people who rode. After all, I was just a beginner, and still getting the hang of simply the basics. Now, however, it has been nearly nine years since I first stepped across a bicycle, and I am still the person who gets dropped on the group rides, the one who hastily dismounts and walks when confronted with a mammoth log stack or a treacherous looking section of trail. I do not use terms like “gnarly”, “going big”, or “stoked”. I am not concerned about how high I can jump my bike, or even if I can jump my bike. I rarely spend a lot of time attempting repeatedly to ride a sketchy obstacle. I tried racing for several years, but finally discovered that I was the only one who was merely “recreationally racing” rather than being seriously competitive. I never really thought much about my lackadaisical approach to cycling until I began to try riding with other bikers. Suddenly I realized that I did not exactly “fit in” with the mountain biker image. I do not have the same aggression and hardcore approach to riding that real bikers seem to have. Granted, I do go out and ride my bike all year long, even in the coldest depths of winter and the baking heat of summer. But my progression in both speed and technical abilities has been minimal at best, and I am unable to keep up with the progression of the sport itself. Every time I learn a tiny new skill, the sport has already left me behind and “gone bigger”, so that my learning curve seems to have become virtually a straight line, or more realistically, a “flatline”. Thus, the impetus to try new things and advance in my riding is rapidly deteriorating because I never seem to catch up to others in the sport or the sport itself. I love to ride my bicycles, but is it a lost cause to simply ride, with no pressure to do more, or be more, than I am?

So again I have to ask the question, am I a dinosaur? And are there any other dinosaurs out there besides me?

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