This Special Weekend Best-Of-Fatty Post rescued from my MSN Spaces Archive. Originally posted August 30, 2005.
Bike riding has been a huge part of my life for about ten years now. You’d think that by now, I’d have at least tried everything I want to try.
To my shame, this is not the case. It’s not even close. There are all kinds of things I still haven’t tried, all kinds of skills I have not acquired.
These are the ones I can remember right this second. Some I expect to try, a few I expect to master. Some I will neither try nor master.
- Trackstand: This one comes first, because it was while I was failing to do a trackstand at a light this morning that the idea for this list came to me. You know, with as much time as I spend on a bike, by now I should be able to balance on it when it’s not moving. But I wobble, jerk back and forth, and within a few seconds have to put a foot down. Someday, I’m just going to spend an afternoon doing nothing but practicing my trackstand. I don’t know if it’ll do any good, but I’m going to do it anyway.
- Nose wheelie: My friend Rick does the coolest stop on his mountain bike: he grabs his front brake, his rear wheel goes high into the air, and he comes to a stop, balanced in a nose wheelie. He’s like a cute little trained seal doing that. I wish I looked like a cute little trained seal. I’ve got more of a walrus body type, alas.
- Race in a velodrome: I put this in the list because I’ve got the bike on order and I know for sure I’ll race in a velodrome next season. But it is something I’ve wanted to try now for more than five years. It’s nice to have something on the list I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to check off. Of course, racing well is a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish.
- Solo a 24 hour event: I’ve done the 24 Hours of Moab as part of a 5-person team, and as part of a 2-person team. I’ve signed up to do it solo, but then bailed out at the last moment. One thing that bugs me about people racing 24 hour events “solo,” though, is nobody ever really seems to do it solo. They’ve got all kinds of people taking care of them and their bikes between laps. If I were to race a 24 hour race solo, I’d want to do it truly solo. I ride myself, I feed myself, I take care of my bike myself. When I finished, I would thump my chest and thumb my nose at the sissy-boys with crews.
- Finish Leadville in under 9 hours: I’ve gone on about this endlessly already; I’m not going start in about it today. Still, it belongs on the list.
- Ride a unicycle: Let’s be clear: unicycles are ridiculous. But I know for sure my kids would be more impressed with some guy juggling and riding a unicycle than they are with anything I can currently do on the bike. Maybe if I could ride a unicycle I could also do a trackstand.
- Ride a BMX course: I see kids cornering, jumping, and sprinting like nobody’s business on BMX courses and I can’t help but wish I had ridden BMX when I was a kid. I’d be twice the bike handler I am right now. Too late for that now, but I’d still like to get out on a BMX course and see what it’s like.
- Do a wheelie drop: All of my friends can wheelie off ledges. I, on the other hand, go down nose-first. It’s not the right way.
- Ride a wheelie: Sure, I can pop a wheelie. But I can’t ride it down the street. I don’t know whether my kids would think this or riding the unicycle would be cooler.
- Ride down a flight of stairs: I’ve seen outdoor flights of stairs and thought to myself, “I think I could ride down that.” But I never do. Chicken.
- Develop a smooth pedaling cadence: This is my biggest shame. If I think about it, my cadence is pretty smooth; my upstroke is strong, my dead spot is small (I think). But when I’m just riding along, I’ll often find myself pedaling triangles (nobody pedals squares; don’t believe those who say they do).
So much time on a bike, so little accomplished.