I am a horrible person to ride a long distance with. I really am. Don’t get me wrong. I love riding in group events. I love riding in large scale races. I love riding and talking with other riders. If you have a flat, I’m the first to ask how I can help. Out of water? Here’s my last bottle. Food? Have GU chew. BUT, when it comes to actually riding with a specific person for an extended amount of time? I suck.
I think it reflects much on me as a person. No. Not the sucking part. That’s mean. Don’t think that. Now I feel bad. I hope you feel bad for thinking that. Bare with me, I have a random thought to discuss. I mean I don’t focus well. No. That’s not true. I’m great at focusing. I just focus on millions of random things for very short periods of time. My thoughts are chaotically organized. My words get jumbled from my brain to my mouth. In the split second it takes me to verbalize my thought I’m mentally onto my next point. I get from A to Z just fine but…it’s usually through points 1, 2 and 3. I’ll follow the rules and I’ll ride the whole route but there will be extra mileage from missed turns. I’ll ride with you for a few minutes and then I’ll either fall back or ride ahead to the next person. I get lost in thought as I race down hills or put my head down and spin upwards. I tend to ride my own speed. I have a mental goal of pushing myself hard. Sometimes I go slower, sometimes faster, sometimes I’m winded, sometimes I’m angry, sometimes I’m singing Christmas carols…one time I might have accidentally hummed a Britney Spears song. Briefly. Maybe.
I’ve had some good moments. I rode with my friend, Matt Kosinski for damn near 150 miles in the Dirty Kanza two years ago. Well, not like right beside him but we were always within a few miles of each other. We’d ride together for periods of time. One would suffer and one would ride ahead. The other would suffer and we’d be back together. You could argue we should have just stayed together and helped each other out. I feel like we still did that though in pushing each other and in an event like DK, there’s always someone riding your speed…if you can catch them. I’ve had great moments riding with people when I’m feeling down and out of it. Riding with friends can pull you out of the depression stage. Hell the year I rode with Matt, I had a down period for 10 miles and Ryan Dudley pulled me out of it. Riding with someone is a must at points in a race. I just can’t seem to stick with it for the entire event.
So if you ride up to me at an event (I’m usually the slower one) please by all means say hi, howdy and hey. Talk about how the wind sucks, the heat sucks, the cold sucks, the mileage sucks. Talk about how awesome the tailwind is, the warm weather is, the cool weather is or how quickly the miles are counting down. Talk about how much you love Emporia, Mulready’s Pub, the Dirty Kanza Mudathon of 2015, the downtown businesses, the community support and the Flint Hills. Talk about all those things! I want to hear it. I really really do. BUT, talk fast. Chances are that next hill is gonna put the hurt on me and I’m gonna see what the next person has to talk about. I’ll catch ya at the finish line and have a beer with ya.
Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even hum a Britney Spears song with ya…probably not. Never again.