Gonna buy a ticket
We're pretty lucky here in the Willy Valley.
I mean, we have green hills all around...bike trails to ride in those hills...pretty decent bike trails, not much traffic, we're not getting shot at (trust me, the excitement of getting shot at is way overrated), decent living to be had...we're pretty lucky. Now, I'm sure one or two of you grumpy types (yes, yes you) are zipping through your rolodex (remember those ya old bastard?) of complaints, shortcomings and myopic reckonings of the good old days thinking how wrong the BigTattooedBastard is. OK fine, it's not perfect...but you and I don't deserve perfect, but we're getting a pretty good deal here.
I've always thought that, it's why we moved here...settled down here...started a family here...moved our family here...planted roots, planted them deep. Once in a while though I let something get in front of that for a moment. Saturday it was the 100 degree heat, a redlined heartrate, aching joint and near cramping thighs while catching my breath after playing pingpong between groups of clients on a ride of Alpine. It was a great ride...great...with a really fun and enjoyable group...but I rode about 5 miles more than everyone else so I could go between groups, check on folks, etc. I like that...it's fun...but it was HOT and I was running out of water after giving half of mine away to someone ill prepared for the day. As I rested my head on my handlebar trying to not puke after pegging it on a particular steep and challenging section to clear and an extended "catch me" section I hear clients coming around the corner laughing, cussing, enjoying the day and as they walked up and asked me if I cleard the section (I did, thank you...).
As we regrouped and caught our breath they were sharing stoke on the day and talking about how big of a PITA it is for them to ride and all of the barriers in their locations and lives are in the way for them to ride as much as some of us do. Now, we all manufacture our own barriers to unlimited riding (jobs, mortgages, relationships, eating...) and those are our decisions...yes: our decisions (I'd love to debate that if you like). But where we live can also add a whole crapload of barriers to our riding opportunities. That's another way we're pretty lucky here: we have tons of places to ride. Most are not too far away. Hell, I'm 25 minutes from Crawfish, Brice and Whypass...that's pretty decent! Even driving 49 minutes to Oakridge isn't bad compared to some "poor folks" living elsewhere. We've got it pretty good.
It's getting better too. We did some buffing, primping and such at Bloomberg last night. Thanks to Taylor's determination and a dedicated crew of locals there's a really fun little loop out there. We're lucky he's got a plan. We're lucky there's locals willing to come out after work and dig, dump, pull, chop, whack, work. We're pretty lucky. It's getting better every time I go out there too.
Anyway, next time you're lamenting how much it sucks to do/not do/start/stop/finish/go/not go...remember: the Willy Valley rocks...and you live here (unless you don't live here...! Hahahaa...but you could!).
Disciples...come out and play!
Indeed, we do all manufacture our own barriers to unlimited riding. Even where I live in Singapore, if you want to ride, you can ride.
This is a city-state only about 25 miles across and 15 north-south. Packed with 7-8 million busy, overworked people running the rat race. Miles and miles of hot concrete, never-ending rows of towers, each housing thousands upon thousands. Concrete cubby holes stacked 40-high.
An urban sprawl which has all but overun the nation, so much so that most residents have never been in any jungle or wilderness.
Relentless traffic jams, horn-happy, impatient drivers, no bike lanes, and no respect for cyclists.
These are enough barriers; I do not need to manufacture any more of my own. But of course I could. A wife and two small kids, a demanding job with long hours, travel for work, the need to sleep in once in a while, beer, my son always wanting me to play Thomas or Lightning McQueen with him, etc.
Other reasons not to ride:
- It's always 80-90 degrees and very humid
- There are only 3-4 trails in the whole country
- Our DH course is 200m long
- This nation is flat
- The best trail was recently closed by the government - risk getting fined and having your bike taken if you get caught on it
- If you ride road watch out - 16 cyclists are killed each year on the roads.
Yet I manage to ride three times a week, easily. Wake up early, ride on dangerous roads and 2nd class trails. Repeat. And I love it.
Now if I had all the wealth of wilderness you have in Oregon, plus the progressive attitude many have toward cyclists, life would be perfect.
You have no barriers. And neither do I.