Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Faux Hare

In the midst of the morning a light fog hung over the prairie. A rabbit scurried from its burrow and amongst the bushes. The hunter laid in wait for his moment. The bush was prime with due and fungi. The rabbit lathered itself within and grew fat and pompous and left its bush a king, thinking only of himself. He walked with a strut, the rabbit of the prairie. As he made his way to his burrow he thought of his flight to royalty and the path that he now must take. For he had weighed his past and decided the life of his pitiful predecessor, the rabbit who had gone in search of food by day, was the life of the miserable and paltry, those of which he was not. The rabbit walked upright and astute and in a manner not befitting a rabbit. The hunter took aim. The clear joviality of the creature that his eyes locked on was a meal in and of its own. It had meant days of searching for the fox; the wilds of the woods was meant for only the keenest of creatures and as the days past and meals grew scarce it was clear that only the best of hunters would survive. The fox used its cunning in searching for its next meal, it found tracks and smelt sticks before un-smelt. The fox was one of craft and wiles. Perhaps he wasn’t the strongest fox in the forest, but he was more determined and more persevering in his hunt, he knew he must eat and he searched throughout the forest and made it an art, he was a fox of ruse, he did what foxes did best and in doing so came clad with the preparation and discipline the other foxes lacked. In the culmination of the moment and in one deft swipe the fox knocked the rabbit from its roost, dethroning ignorance and the unbecoming behavior of the wretched. The fox in the true wiles of instinct feasted on the rabbit and in doing so righted the rabbit into what he truly was: just a rabbit.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Right here, right now

Tossa de mar, Catalunya, ESP

Look out across the med. Feel its magic. Imagine what’s on the other side, who’s on the water, the lives that revolve around the water. Just sit there and listen to it, sit there and look at it. It does something sensational to you. It cures all your problems and worries for a moment. You can sit and think about how perfectly at peace and without constraints you are. You can dream of what the future holds and be content with the past. Viewer discretion advised.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The DL on the 411

Calpe, Spain

There’s been a lot going on. I finished the season off in Australia for two weeks. The flight there is absurd; no matter what continent you go from or what class you fly in. What was it? 22 hours? There were a few Starbucks’ in Thailand, but there were some in London too. The plane landed in Thailand, which was nice after 12 hours or so of sitting business. And it gave a great chance to wander about the airport, sample a dozen Americanos at Starbucks and decide that after the two weeks at the Sun Tour I was going to make that 1 hour layover on the way back to Barcelona into 2.5 weeks.
Spending a bit of time in Victoria was interesting. The racing was also interesting. The team cleaned it up pretty good and I went about finishing my season off as well as I could- which was pretty good. I was anxious to leave it behind after it was over though and bounced out to Bangkok the next day. Didn’t really see much of the Australia thing, but honestly it didn’t seem too much different than America. It’s more or less as close to being America/Canada as you can be without being in America.
And then I landed in Bangkok on the return leg. I was upgraded to upstairs on the 747. So… that would put me in 1st class, which made it difficult to sleep as I knew that I was going to sleep really well. Understand? Probably not, and I can’t quite grasp the concept myself. Thailand was interesting. Asia always is. But I wouldn’t go back. The culture is a whole different world and a dollar goes a long way. Yes I did go by myself, and I met some people that were surprisingly nice given I was about as different from them as I could be and I saw a lot of awesome stuff and got an inside look into their culture. And then I left and that was it. I have no plans to return to Thailand or anywhere third world in Asia, if I go back to Asia it will be to Japan, Korea or Hong Kong. But I’ll probably just sit at Waikiki and hit the surf instead. Plenty of Asian influence there anyway.
I went back to Girona after Bangkok by way of London and Barcelona. Those two and a half weeks in Bangkok more or less represented my off the bike time. I did quite a bit of running in the Bangkok smog and third-worldness as I had in anticipation of the running bought a pair of runners in Melbourne as discounted as an Australian dollar would allow for. It had been a long time since I’d done some good running. With the traffic at a standstill in Bangkok I ran down the 6 laners downtown. It made for an easy choice of route and hit the Starbucks mid-trip for an Americano- yes, American style. Upon my return to Europe I continued the running but limited it to once a week and got back on the ride and began to hit the gym again in Girona. I’ve always wondered what it would be like in Spain come winter and this year I got a good feel for it. I stayed late into the year finally deciding to go back to Seattle on the 12th of December instead of the 20th via Lufthansa’s Barcelona-Frankfurt-Seattle route. With a couple weeks remaining before returning to America my brother visited for 2 weeks, representing the first documented visit of immediate family to my apartment in Spain. It was quite pleasant having him there and he seemed to have a fantastic time. Hopefully in the future more visits from the family are to be.
Coming back to America was a shock for me this year. It was a long time since I’d been to America this time and I’d unknowingly become accustomed to the culture and lifestyle of Europe. It didn’t take long to snap back though and the month that I spent home for the Christmas season couldn’t have been better spent than home with the family. When I left I couldn’t suppress the tears inside, and they’re coming again as I recall leaving my mother, brother and father there at the airport ahead of security with my Dad saying “no matter what happens, you know we’ll be right here for you.”
From Seattle I took a British Airways flight with service through London to Barcelona. There was weather at Heathrow in London and the airport closed. I got a room at the holiday inn for the night and caught a 7:45 flight out the next morning into Barcelona where I sat at the carousel for an hour before realizing they’d lost both my bags. With enough travel for 10 people done, I hailed a taxi for the 1:45 drive to Girona. Got a couple 2 hour training sessions done, and the next day rallied with some of the guys and staff from the team and drove the 4.5 hours out to Calpe where we rendezvoused with the rest of the guys at the Hotel Sol y Mar where we’ve trained the past two and a half weeks. The first and probably last time that I will see a lot of my team mates for the rest of the year.
Coming into 2010 I have mixed feelings. I have a contract that isn’t going to resign itself so there is a bit of pressure to perform… and yet I feel more comfortable than I ever have in my position on the team. In Europe, my lifestyle, what I do, what I know, everything I do, is me. It’s not forced on me, or overwhelming as it once was. It’s everything I want and everything I know. It’s me and it’s just going to get bigger. The best thing about it is that I still have to where my shades because even though I’ve accomplished SO much there is much, much more to accomplish, but… now… my lenses TRANSITION to account for the brightness ahead…

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The American Dream

I’m sitting in starbucks. I’m listening to the sounds and watching the people. They don’t care and I don’t know nothing of anyone. The baristas are fake, the people are fools and it’s all for money. Everywhere I go, everything I say, I end up paying. Does it feel real? Do you feel at home as you throw down a dollar? How much longer can you look past the cashier and her artificial smile? How can you continue to agree when it’s so superficial? I can’t, I hate the great world of pretension; the swirling foggy outline of this and that which is true but not, the head numbers, interest rates and credit scores. What is is, and what’s not, is not. Don’t talk to me for the sake of talking. Get your insurance, sell your porsche and buy what you can afford. No one’s fooling nobody. But you are bringing down everybody. I’m going to drink my Americano, but of myself I refuse to opine. What you see is what you get, discard your whims and embrace reality. From now is when the truth begins.

Monday, November 02, 2009

First things first

Girona, Spain

As I try to piece together what can be made of a desperate grasp at life in Europe I consistently run up against a problem with my land lord this year. At the start of this season I came over specifically with plans so that I could spend the year completely sane in an apartment that I felt comfortable in for the indefinite future. After several weeks of sampling different apartments and speaking with different agencies I found a place that overlooked the city with splendid balconies looking both east and west and furnished to rent with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage and everything in between… I even negotiated 50 Euros a month off the price. It was like an apartment dream, bundled into a little apartment present for Christmas. But then in the stocking above the fire or maybe in the fire there was a little flame called Francisco Gil. He is my landlord, and he is infamous and notorious as a hell monger. He pops up at the most inopportune times in an effort to impede anything that could be referred to as “your life.” At first I was sympathetic with his perspective thinking that if I owned an apartment and rented it out I too would be worried and weary of what my tenants were up to. But then he hammered on and eventually I lost my patience with him and began to feel like the poor helpless peasant under the repressive rule of ‘Franco’ the compassionate Spanish dictator. As of late I have made it my mission to overthrow his tyranny, and instead of cowering under his wrath I have had an audience with local authorities and taken my case to despatx d’advocats garriga pradas (attorney- garriga pradas). Not because I prefer to stay any longer in his apartment, but because I feel now that the unyielding nose of his in my life is a complete and total invasion of my privacy as a tenant in any country, and that he ought to feel what it feels like to be held helplessly against his will- whatever that may mean...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The arrival of otoño

Today I did the routine in the morning; the coffee, the radio, the oatmeal, and noticed that I need to wash my bike. And set about getting ready to spin about outside for 3 hours con bici.
In the elevator nothing had changed. I strolled through the lobby area, and out onto the sidewalk. It was windy. It was breezy. Fall is on the way. Now it is still warm, but the breeze. The breeze in the morning is not normal, and yet it was there and full. I saw a leaf blow by and as I started my training, I noticed more leaves. Brown leaves, brown dead leaves that danced about in the wind. And in the trees I saw more of them, also ready to trade for a new season. I saw them and I was happy. I am ready for a new season; I’m ready for the heat to leave and the brisk clear days to replace them. To ride along the road and feel the wind against my face and to shiver. Summer has been here to long, it’s time for a change. It’s time for summer to relent.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

El mundo de todas las personas

I stop for a moment and I look around. What I see are the people who walk about in the shadow of others; bound by their desire for acceptance, chained in fear of non-conformity. I think about what the world has become. I consider what it means to be happy, the difference between glee and greed. What happened to exercising your temptation and doing what you desire without being bound by popular opinion? I go to the beach in America and I see these people who are smitten by their desire to conform juxtaposed against people who entirely throw conformity to the wind and act solely on their happiness; their feeling of being in good company and having fun regardless of the circumstances. Is this not what everyone ultimately desires? Good friends, people to share their life with? If you have everything in the world and no one to share it with you are the most miserable person in the world.