Why We Suffer
Sometimes the greatest inspirations and ideas are borne on the wings of suffering… Today, the day after Thanksgiving, my intent was simply to ride my bike with no destination in mind except for the valley of suffering. It’s 8 am; it’s cold, wet and grey with plenty of hills on the menu. But, hey, this is NorCal cycling and I am Velocurean, it’s simple, I ride, endure and grow stronger; it’s what we do.
Yeah, right! It’s simple except for the fact that it’s late November, cold and wet in the relentless hills Northern California. 75 miles of climb after climb, wet windy descents and fast paced flats. I had two stops on this voyage; the first was at the Marin Coffee Roasters in San Anselmo where I met my Velocurean partner, Kevin for a coffee and the inception of our impromptu meeting on wheels.
We talked and we rode hard while we developed multiple theories and “cut the fat” off of others. Our next stop was at Rancho Nicasio where we debated over some visions until we were able to cultivate the dream crop of concepts. We could see it and we could feel it because right at that moment we were in, riding and suffering through it and it was perfect. Suddenly everything made sense and we knew what we had to do, who we needed to do it with, the when, where, how and why. This was the reason why we woke this grey morning, got on the carbon and rode. It was a beautiful thing.
After we went our separate ways I slowly felt the pain creeping up through my legs, in to my stomach and attempting to paralyze my mind. The threat of the “bonk” was clawing away at my soul. As I climbed out of Sausalito toward the Golden Gate Bridge in a daze digging deep to escape the reality of the imminent despair of defeat. I was climbing alone, losing speed and suffering in isolation. I gazed over to my left at the city and suddenly that mysterious extra internal gear kicked in. So I instinctively shifted my bike into a harder gear and pedaled faster, I just wanted it all to end. I kind of “blacked out” for a while and when I came to, I found myself blazing through the Golden Gate Park in the time-trial position. I maintained that pace and romanticized the notion of a hot shower and real food.
I seemed to magically arrive at the house. My knees and hips creaked as I attempted to straighten out my frozen spine and hobble through the door. I entered and was immediately greeted by my oldest daughter, Brianna. She looked at me and asked (only in the way she could), “What’s wrong with you?” I knew right then that everything was going to be fine… I grabbed a cold beer (Blue Moon – Winter Release) and headed straight for the shower. I stood under the hot streaming water and pounded that brew. Trust me, if you haven’t tried it, do it. The feeling in my toes finally returned so I reluctantly decided it was time for the next phase. Must. Eat. Food. Perfect… Thanksgiving leftovers!
Well, now it’s time to make more dreams come true. We could not have asked for a better day out on the road suffering and talking. I love Velocurean meetings! So we just put up the Christmas tree and now it’s time for more coffee with some pumpkin and apple pie. Happy Holidays!
Ride Hard and Prosper. Live Velocurean!
~ Joshua Seaman