Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Soapbox Time

I think if I hear one more person refer to a mountain bike race - endurance or otherwise - as a "sufferfest", I may just snap and smack somebody across the head.

To those of you who think racing your mountain bike is "suffering", let me explain a few things to you. Having the opportunity to spend a few hours (or a day or two) just riding your bike is not suffering. That is a privilege. It's something you chose (and most likely paid) to do. The simple fact that you are fortunate enough to have the time, money and physical ability to do it is something you should be grateful for, not disparage.

There are plenty of people in this world who truly are suffering (many of whom could only dream of having the chance or ability to spend a whole day, or even an hour, riding a bicycle) and you call something fun like a bike race suffering?

Worse, if you're calling these events "sufferfests" just so you'll seem all badass for doing them, well in my humble opinion, that's a pitifully sad testament to your self-image and I hope in time you'll learn that you're perfect just as you are, and there is no need to thump your chest in false bravado as a feeble attempt to try to impress the rest of us.

Maybe I'm just getting old and senile, but as the years go by, I realize how fortunate I am to still be able to ride and even race a little, and it hurts my heart to think about how much time I wasted in my youth not being grateful for what I had. So I would hope that you'd appreciate the treasure before you when you head out to the trail to ride or race your bike and be thankful for the wondrous gift you've been given and to realize what a remarkable individual you are simply by being you.