A 100 Miles of Nowhere Update from Fatty: I got a note from Twin Six yesterday; all 100 Miles of Nowhere kits are boxed and shipped! If you’re in the U.S., they should arrive by Friday. (If you’re outside the U.S., you will probably need to wait a little longer.)
If, by chance, your kit doesn’t arrive by Friday, it should get there sometime soon after. As I consult the official rules which I am making up right this second, I see that if your kit arrives after the race, you are automatically awarded a time bonus of 48 hours! Which makes it almost certain that you will finish the race several hours before you even begin. Congratulations!
Also, I am hard at work designing the Winner’s Certificate, which means it’s going to look every bit as good as everything else I make in Photoshop. which is…not very good. So when you frame it and hang it on your wall and people ask why you have such an ugly certificate, I’d like you to please respond that it’s an ironic, post-modern thing, where one intentionally displays things that are intentionally ugly, in defiance of conventional aesthetics. Hence, by displaying your certificate, you will be simultaneously demonstrating your keen sense of irony and your willingness to do something entirely pointless. I’d make it the centerpiece of my household, if I were you.
Information and instructions on how to send me the info that goes on your certificate will be available early next week, because by then I should have it figured out.
And if you haven’t ordered a bib yet, you can still get one. Just donate $5 to Clay Frost’s LiveStrong Challenge page here.
Once in a while, a neighbor will ask me to show them a favorite trail or road ride. And once in a separate while, someone who reads the blog will email me, saying they’re going to be passing through the area and would like to go on a ride.
You have no idea the state these kinds of requests throw me into.
It is not easy at all to figure out what ride I should take them on. Apart from the question of road vs. mountain (I usually know the answer to that), I have to consider what they’re most likely to enjoy — something relatively easy, or the very most challenging thing I have to offer? And which of those trails / roads are in good shape? And will result in a ride of the right length?
It may sound like I’m just an anxious-to-please host (possible), or perhaps it just sounds like I’m a hyperactive dork (probable), but it goes much, much deeper than that.
You see, what I really want is for you to like, admire, and hopefully envy me.
Pride of Ownership
You see, when I take you out on one of my favorite rides for the first time, from my point of view we’re doing much more than going on a ride. I’m sharing an intimate, key component of my identity with you, and anxiously awaiting your verdict.
If you love the ride, I take it very personally. You have just validated me as a human being. You like something I have chosen to spend hours and hours and hours with, so I can sigh a deep sigh of relief. We’re going to be friends.
Likewise, if you seem ambivalent or unimpressed, I’m going to do one of two things:
- Feel crushed and reassess my opinion of the road / trail and of myself. This happens if you’ve shown in the past that you are an excellent judge of ride quality. I make this determination based on trails you have shown me. If you don’t like a ride I heretofore thought was fantastic, I may mope for days.
- Reassess my opinion of you. Some of the rides I love have proven themselves sufficiently. If you don’t like them, it says something about you, not the trail. Saying “I don’t like Tibble Fork” is like saying “I don’t like the Beatles.” Tibble Fork (and the Beatles) are unaffected. Only the naysayer is diminished.
Special Circumstance: The Home Ride
This puppy-like anxiety I experience in sharing a ride is magnified tenfold when I choose to show off a ride I can do from my house. Right now, for example, I love to show off the fact that The Alpine Loop (road), Lambert Park (dirt), and Hog Hollow / Corner Canyon (dirt) are all rides I do right from my front door, without needing to get in a car at all.
I expect, though, that the folks living at Suncrest might feel that way about Corner Canyon even more intensely than I do. Last Saturday, for example, I drove to Dug’s house, from which Rick Sunderlage (not his real name), Sam, Dug and I embarked on a three-hour singletrack tour of Corner Canyon, starting with the new freeride trail.
I captured the freeride part (and at the very end, the part where I nearly overshoot a corner, narrowly avoiding flying off the trail — you can hear Dug laughing at me as he goes by) on video:
Yes, Dug (and a lot of other people at Suncrest) have mile upon mile (and many new miles on the way) of singletrack within seconds of their homes. My guess is that this probably would accomplish the “envy” objective of showing off your trail rather nicely.
Double-Extra Special Circumstance: Showing Off a Trail to Someone Who Can Crush You
I’m currently working out timing to show Jill Homer — yeah, the Jill who rides Kokopelli and White Rim back to back, who rides the Iditarod, and who is planning out a Great Divide attempt — a home ride or two.
And I am fretting like mad, trying to decide which of my rides is going to be challenging enough to interest her. ‘Cuz, when someone like that offers an opinion on your trail, you kinda have to take it seriously. She’s got some context.
I shall wear the helmetcam, though that won’t do any good once she rides away from me.
So I can’t help but wonder: is this anxiety about introducing a trail / ride to someone common? Or just another neurosis?
I’m leaning toward common.