I hope everyone is having a great 4th of July holiday here in the States. It's kind of strange when the 4th falls in the middle of the week because some of us get just that day off, some part of the week off, and the lucky few get the whole week off! Of course, you can just take it off work, and use up vacation time, so that happens alot too.
Okay, so have you been keeping up on the GDR? It seems as though we are whittled down to three riders. Matthew Lee, who is ahead by a long ways up on John Noble, and Kenny Maldonado. Rudi Nadler, who attempted to ride the route on a fixed gear, pulled out yesterday in Wyoming. John Montgomery also pulled the plug yesterday with severe knee problems and dietary issues. It's a tough thing to ride this route at such a high pace, with the altitude, solitude, lack of "normal" foods and what not. Then to multiply the challenge with single speed, fixed gear, or dietary stipulations, well that's even harder yet.
What is it about cyclists that makes us want to be so different? Maybe that term, "different" isn't even the correct term, but it's a jumping off point. I find this desire to be set apart from the masses of people and even other "normal cyclists" most often expressed in the ultra endurance cyclist. It's an interesting phenomena. This is an idea that has me intrigued and it really caught my attention when I read something a friend e-mailed to me the other day. He was referencing the recent Tour doping scandal, but it applies to a greater theater here, I think.
"Apparently our perceptions can be skewed by cheaters and thieves. We, as a cycling community, seems to always rise above it. Bootleg events like TI, Dopers Suck, Single Speed, 29ers, anything to distance ourselves."
Is what we are doing; being different, a way to separate ourselves from the masses of "crap culture", "normal", mainstream cycling, and even our own everyday lives? I think the answers are as varied as there are people. I think that there are; however, some broader answers that might just make sense to alot of us, and that's what I want to explore in the next post.
(Thanks to "Wuzbeen" for the quote and his frequent comments to this blog)