Hobbyist, Minus Hobby

07.6.2015 | 12:51 pm

A Super-Excited Announcement from Fatty: Today I have a guest post from Kenny. It’s fantastic. So be sure to keep reading after I announce this announcement, OK? OK.

There are a lot of really great reasons I’m very excited about The Grand Slam for Kenya. I’m excited about the cause. I’m excited about the location. I’m excited to be a part of making the world a better place and having an immediate effect with my donation dollars. I’m excited about how generous everyone is being with their donations for this contest.

And, as you’d expect, I’m excited about the prizes. Today, I’d like to tell you about a couple reasons I’m excited for these prizes.

First, I’m incredibly excited — okay, let me be perfectly honest and say that what I’m feeling is closer to envious and astonished — to announce the first grand prize to be given as part of the Grand Slam for Kenya, which I can’t help but write in all-caps, bold, and red:


What does that mean? It means that should you win, you can pick pretty much any top-end Trek you want, then choose a super-sweet paint job for it, and outfit it with the highest-end SRAM and Zipp components available.

For example, you could start with a custom Émonda SLR frameset:

 Screenshot 2015 07 06 12 22 14

Then add a candy-apple red paint job to it and build it up with Zipp 202 wheels and SRAM Red 22 parts.

You would have yourself a bike that is so light, so fast, you would have to tether it down when you park it in the garage, to prevent it from floating around, wafting its way toward the ceiling.

(There are some limitations regarding paint and components, so be sure to read the details in the rules.)

Or you could build a Madone. Yeah, the new one.

Screenshot 2015 07 06 12 32 58 

Or any other Trek frame. And let me assure you: right now, Trek is coming out with bikes that are making me really, really really want to make some room in my garage.

Sadly, I am not eligible to win. But you are. And you should try very, very hard to win. Which you can do, by donating in the Grand Slam fundraiser.

What’s the Second Thing?

Oh, that’s right, I did say there were a couple of things I was going to announce, didn’t I? Well, I’m going to have to haul out the all-caps, red, and bold again:


Yeah. For reals. This year, we’re not just giving away one Trek Project One bike. We’re giving away two.

Which means your chances of winning one of these incredible dream bikes — bikes that generally retail for $8K – $13K — have doubled.

You want to know what bike I would really love to get? The Procaliber SL. It’s a ridiculously light hardtail mountain bike, while managing to be incredibly smooth-riding, thanks to the IsoSpeed decoupler. 

Screenshot 2015 07 06 12 43 01

I want one of these so bad. I want to build it up with SRAM XX1 components, an RS-1 Fork, and Rise 60 Wheels

And then I would flaunt it. Flaunt it hard. And I would ride that bike thirty-five hours per day.

At least.

We’re Just Getting Started

So there you go: the first two bikes in the Grand Slam are any Trek Project One bikes you want. Regardless of whether your itch tends toward road or mountain, racing or riding, you’re going to be able to find and build something that perfectly suits your needs and aesthetic.

If I were you, I’d be interested in donating. Very interested indeed.


Hobbyist, Minus Hobby
by Kenny Jones 

What if you started a hobby, and that hobby was so incredible that it transcended your everyday life? This hobby, which you started as a diversion to your work and “real” life, took hold of you and you decided that this hobby now was your real life and that your previous work life would be secondary.


What if you decided that you would just let Hobby sweep you up and start taking you on adventures? And you discover that you are Hobby talented, and you wonder how you ever lived without it in your life. Your goals change and what was important to you is no longer important in the same way. Your time spent Hobbying increases year by year, and you spend less and less time on other things.


And Hobby keeps growing, taking you to amazing places to see things you would never have seen otherwise. You start traveling weeks at a time to Hobby, sometimes to Hobbying events and sometimes just practicing Hobby in the most beautiful settings imaginable.




Hobby makes you feel young, healthy and fit, much like you felt as a small child. And not only does it make you feel good, it is also beneficial for your body. Because of the increased Hobby-related physical activity, you get to eat more of the things you love. And that cold beer you drink afterwards goes down without guilt or remorse.


And of course, Hobbying so much, you start hanging around other people who also Hobby – people who have similar views on the grandness of life’s adventures. You start to create lasting friendships with these Hobby people, even though they are often dirty with scabby knees. In fact, you take one of these Hobby people into your heart and make them your life partner.


Oh, wait a minute…


And then you decide to move to a place where you can Hobby year round, undisturbed by cold weather and short days. And you build a house with the sole purpose of being able to Hobby every day in your back yard. And then you do – day in and day out – never looking back, never regretting a thing.


And when there comes a time where it’s no longer enough to just Hobby for yourself, you decide to give back somehow. You start volunteering as a high-school coach, teaching kids all about Hobby – how to Hobby skillfully and safely, how to Hobby fast. You find that you become even more energized spending time with these kids as you share with them the love of our abundant natural wilderness through Hobby healthy activity.


Sometimes, however, you realize that your aging body is fragile and that frequent injuries take longer and longer to heal. And that doing your Hobby could lessen your ability to participate in Hobby. Is it worth it? How do you balance your desire to keep going with the pending possibility of crippling injury?

And what do you do when abruptly, your Hobby crashes into you with the force of a very large, unfriendly rock, and you are now facing a prolonged period of can’t-Hobby time?


I now find myself immobile with a long recovery ahead – at least 8 weeks of non-weight bearing. I’m torn with the reality of being laid up. The physical pain of the injury pales in comparison to the emotional turmoil I feel from the restrictions I now have. Hobby has put me here, and it scares me that it could have been worse.

I started this post with “What if”, and the biggest “What if” that clouds my head these days is… What if I could no longer do my Hobby? What could fill this void? How would it affect my relationships with my partner and my friends? Who will I be when I can no longer do this thing that so greatly defines my life? I struggle with the answers to these questions. I’m sure that most people as they age are faced with the reality of their limitations. I usually ignore the possibility that I am mortal and I rarely think about being injured or worse.


Fortunately, I’m expected to have a full recovery. Two to three months, and I’ll be back doing the things that I love and need.

I am not yet faced with the permanent “what if” of a non-Hobby life. But even this temporary injury-enforced time of rest helps me reflect and prepare for what that time in my life will look like.

What is life, if not discovering what you enjoy and who you enjoy doing it with? Our time on this earth is short. What’s the better life? Growing old on the couch or fighting through the highs and lows of doing stuff you love with people you love. When I’m old and feeble, I’ll have plenty of time to sit around. While I’m able, I will always choose to hit that fast, swoopy, rock-and-rooted gnar gnar piece of ripping single track and to accept the consequences of that decision.



  1. Comment by Lauri | 07.6.2015 | 12:59 pm

    Ouch – good luck healing up. My husband was in a bad car accident that permantely ruined his shoulder. Chronic pain & he lost all his hobbies and a career he loved. The accident was four years ago and I still don’t think he’s come to terms with not being able to do any of the things he loved (let alone little things like playing with our son).

    Count your blessings, heal well & get back to enjoying Hobbying.

  2. Comment by Tom in Albany | 07.6.2015 | 1:15 pm

    Pre-comment: Wow, Fatty! Just. WOW!!!

    Comment: Heal up fast and well, Kenny. I’ve had that same thought about Hobby. I’d miss Hobby if Hobby went away. I am teaching my children, Hobby. They seem to like it, though not in my obsessive way – yet.

    Great write up, Kenny. And great pics!

  3. Comment by Frank | 07.6.2015 | 1:21 pm

    Well said Kenny. Live life and don’t wait for it to begin. There is nothing worse than asking that “what if…” question at the end. Get well soon and hit that trail.
    Elden, I bought two bikes since it is boring to ride alone. I hope you are ok with that.

  4. Comment by Joe | 07.6.2015 | 1:39 pm

    Sorry to hear about your injury, Kenny. I hope you have a speedy recovery and are back to Hobby as soon as possible!

  5. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 07.6.2015 | 1:44 pm

    Kenny, that sucks. Big time. Hoping you heal fast! Thanks for the write up.

    Fatty, this is a sicknasty giveaway. Can’t wait to hear about the other prizes. I wonder if Cervelo will be part of it with an MTNQ team bike? If not, we should harass them to donate one as a 7th bike prize!

  6. Comment by Chicago Nick | 07.6.2015 | 1:46 pm

    I am sorry about your injury, but the upside is that you’re in great shape and your partner and your hetero-lifepartner Fatty care about you getting back on two wheels soon.

    So take this time to relax, keep busy, take it slow and remember to breathe. Don’t push yourself to get back on the saddle too soon.

  7. Comment by Brandon Banks | 07.6.2015 | 2:08 pm

    Heal up, dude!

  8. Comment by DonQuix | 07.6.2015 | 2:22 pm

    That is one hell of a great post.

  9. Comment by Andy | 07.6.2015 | 2:52 pm


    “While I’m able, I will always choose to hit that fast, swoopy, rock-and-rooted gnar gnar piece of ripping single track and to accept the consequences of that decision.”

    Heal fast, take care and get back to ripping s/t asap!

  10. Comment by Brian in VA | 07.6.2015 | 2:54 pm

    I’m sorry about your boo boo, Kenny. That looks like a good one! Hope you heal quickly, and without much pain.

    I’m like you, dude. It’ always better to wear out than to rust out! Keep on Hobbying!

    Fatty, awesome first bikes!

  11. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 07.6.2015 | 3:10 pm

    That is a nasty injury, Kenny, but obviously worth it! I Hobby raced until a bad wake-up crash, but still enjoy Hobby in fast (non competitive) groups, with my wife on a tandem, and touring. I, like you, hope to Hobby well into my old age, just not as fast.

    Maybe even on a new bike – sweet prizes!

  12. Comment by Bill H-D | 07.6.2015 | 4:54 pm

    Great post Kenny! Here’s something that might help ease your mind a bit. I learned about it while hobbying my (very similar) hobby while also raising money & helping people. It’s another example of how great bikes, and bike people, can be.


    The inspiring thing is that no matter what kind of injury – physical or mental – this group finds a way to make a bike that helps become a path to recovery. When I contemplate the questions you have asked, I think about “the Chuck wagon” :)

  13. Comment by Dan H | 07.6.2015 | 5:35 pm

    Awesome write up, Kenny. Couch surfing is probably going to drive you crazy for the next few months, so I hope you can start answering that “what if” question now to not only fill up your time but to fill it up in a way that can feel productive now. Nothing is going to replace Hobby for you, but you now have some time and opportunity to see what else can keep you going when Hobby is on a temporary leave. Good luck!

  14. Comment by JM | 07.6.2015 | 7:52 pm

    Hey Kenny, great write up. I was faced with similar questions after I was hit head-on by a car on my road bike. Banged up and broken, I have largely since healed. The most brutal yet totally unanticipated injury was the “death” of “me” – the accident took away my sense of self, my Hobby. I went to see a shrink about it and learned about all these crazy ways that Hobby had become Me. Yes, it’s sad that I lost Hobby, but I pursue other things now, because while Hobby may have died, I still live, and maybe those other things will grow to be New Hobby, and maybe even someday I’ll regain the courage to Hobby again. As you said, “What is life, if not discovering what you enjoy and who you enjoy doing it with?”

  15. Comment by Jeremy | 07.6.2015 | 11:40 pm

    Heal up, Kenny. That’s a good object lesson for your team.

  16. Comment by Kate | 07.7.2015 | 9:15 am

    I’m reading this with my post-op leg propped on a chair (new ACL and two repairs to a meniscus). Thanks for the reminder that I’m not the only one freaking out about this a little bit.

  17. Comment by AKChick | 07.7.2015 | 9:23 am

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooo Poor Kenny. :( Hope you heal faster than the speed of light and are back to your Hobbying ways soon!

    Also, LOVE the life partner picture with Fatty. :)

  18. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 07.7.2015 | 10:51 am

    So there definitely is a balance between doing things you want/love and doing real serious harm. Still working that myself…….

  19. Comment by MattC | 07.7.2015 | 11:04 am

    Yeowch! That picture makes my hip hurt! So sorry to hear about your crash Kenny…maybe now you can work on the typically neglected maintenance on your stable of bikes (if you do neglect that aspect) so they are all sitting in prime condition when you are ready to get back in the saddle.

    I try not to think about it, but it’s a reality that is only a tire-slip away on any given day (or a head-on w/ a vehicle as @JM had happen, which is why I’m mostly mt biking for a while now…after 3 CLOSE calls w/ death in just a few month period).

    Heal fast Kenny!

  20. Comment by Charlie | 07.7.2015 | 11:11 am

    Hobby has gotten slower since I hit 53. I just enjoy being out there and seeing things around me. I don’t like the tunnel vision I used to get when trying to be faster (actually, I never was that fast.) Still keeps me fit and motivated to get out there and not plant my tail on the couch or in front of the computer every night. Get well soon.

  21. Comment by Corrine | 07.7.2015 | 11:13 am

    Heal up, Kenny. You will be out there again, sooner than you think. This is a good time to work on upper body strength. When I had major knee surgery done and couldn’t weight bear for 12 weeks (!), I biked on my trainer with one leg because getting no exercise was NOT an option. Also, couch surf with the Tour de France. Time will go quickly and you will be back out there.

  22. Comment by Dave T | 07.8.2015 | 8:02 am

    Nicely written Kenny I hope you heal up fast. You have some great riding in your back yard.

  23. Comment by Kukui | 07.8.2015 | 11:35 am

    Oh my gosh, Kenny, that’s terrifying. I’ve thought about the potential consequences of Hobbying, but honestly never considered what it would be like to eventually not be able to Hobby.

    Heal quickly and well!

  24. Comment by Fred | 07.8.2015 | 11:31 pm

    I think I can relate (a little bit) to your situation.

    You might be a hobbyist if…

    You’re sitting in an oral surgeon’s chair. Your formerly reliable one-piece lower jaw is now a four-piece lower jaw. An anesthesiologist is sticking a needle in your arm.

    You have eaten practically nothing for 5 days (due to the pain associated with having a 4-piece lower jaw), and you’ve dropped 13 pounds.

    The last question you ask the doc before the goofy juice hits is “Am I still going to be able to get enough food and air through all of this hardware to hobby uphill???”
    You’re also quietly wondering just what your new PR is going to look like when you attack the local time trial hill at 8 lbs lighter than you’ve ever ridden it before.

    The unfortunate answer from the doc is “No hobbying for 2 weeks. You might hurt yourself.”
    You’re thinking, “Two weeks ??? Hurt myself ??? I have a four-piece lower jaw, and the I’m the skinny guy in a group photo with the Schleck brothers. How much more damage could I possibly do ???”

    I tried to cooperate. I lasted 13 days before the weather was just too good, and I had to go hobbying. (I hobbied once on the trainer on about Day 10 to test the air intake system.)

    I’ve been hobbying on the road regularly since day 13, and I even got a little off-road hobbying last week. The hardware comes out next week.

    You might also be a hobbyist if you have to pretend to be disappointed when the surgeon mentions putting a titanium plate in your jaw. Is it even fair to show at a group hobby event with a titanium jaw??? Do you have to register in a separate bionic/robotic/titanium division???

    I was lucky that my injury was not hobby-related, so I didn’t have to deal with the “get back on the hobby horse” thought process. Everything about the recovery process was focused on hobby, because I was already registered for a serious hobbying event in January.


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