Now that the hazy, lazy days of summer are in full swing, I am reminded of a group of three of guys who used to ride on Saturday mornings. This was no organized club activity but just some guys who were chained to a desk Monday through Friday and got together to enjoy a favorite sport on the weekend. Wanting to make the best use of every precious week-end minute, this group usually hit the road around 7 AM so as to be finished around 10 AM or 11 AM leaving plenty of time to squeeze in some more activities. The time offered peace on solitude of the road, thinking time.
This group of guys rode back in the old days before STI shifters, clipless pedals, and carbon bikes, not to mention cell phones and electronic leashes called beepers. GPS? Did you mean GTO? No, GPS. Life was simpler then. Even cars didn’t have computers running them and came with crank windows. You just went to a bike shop, test-rode a bike of the steel persuasion or maybe aluminum and made your decision. You didn’t have to debate the virtues or 8, 9, 10, or 11-speed cassettes or bemoan one or the other was no longer readily available. Fitting consisted of sitting in the saddle and getting the feel of the bike. Did it feel right? If not you tried something different. You got what you got and felt good about being on the road.
Of course time marches on and as you get farther down the river of life, you sometimes have to wonder if you still know yourself. Life should make you think. Do you go through life putting on your pants one leg at a time each morning and eating your meals on auto-pilot or do you give it some thought? What’s your purpose? What’s enjoyment? Do you still yearn for a little adventure, the new and mysterious? Do you try new things? Define enjoyment, adventure, and mysterious, please. It’s not so easy, is it? Let me help.
There used to be a beer commercial that touted you only go around once in life, so “Grab all the gusto,” while you can. Now there’s a life’s purpose and philosophy for you! Don’t you think the word grab has such a nice connotation to it? What about gusto? Can you grab gusto or does it come to us via another mechanism? Mirriam and Webster define gusto as: b: enthusiastic and vigorous enjoyment or appreciation c : vitality marked by an abundance of vigor and enthusiasm. So far, so good. Unfortunately, Mirriam and Webster are mum on how to maintain that abundance of vigor and enthusiasm. The beer commercial says grab, another source says “it’s more blessed to give.”
I once knew a man in his late 80’s whose wife had passed away some years back. I was in a group of volunteers giving a presentation to a group of seniors in an assisted living center. I know I spoke, but I have no memory of what I said. I only remember this man’s ‘chat’ with the group about his time that he gave in the Lunch Buddies program at an elementary school. He asked the group some variation of the above question regarding having a purpose and enjoyment in life. Those people knew what he meant. There were a few wet eyes, sniffles, and a lot of heads nodding in the affirmative to his question. Age is no barrier to this wondering about purpose. The elusive purpose just keeps changing with the years.
Sometimes as with the rides a person has to get the noise and clutter removed from the neural receivers so as to be able to tune in on those minor mid-course corrections to purpose. Not everyone’s brain works at this hour, but the clean, cool air and dearth of motor vehicles helps. Close the bike magazines that shout like a barker at a county fair to grab the latest and greatest and think of what you can give instead of get. Look for volunteer activities where you can promote your favorite sport. It’s easy when you like what you do. If the ride calendar doesn’t have what suits you, lead a ride. There are others of like ability just waiting for this ride. You may say you’ve never led a ride or fit a helmet on a grade-schooler. You don’t know how to do these things. You’re scared. There-in lies the adventure and the mysterious! Be daring and watch your storehouse of vigor and enthusiasm grow in the process.
May 23 10:00am - Non-Throbbing Thigh ThrillerMay 23 10:00am - CRUISER: Cruising with FriendsMay 23 6:00pm - Time Trials 2013 Course - 11 miles May 23 6:00pm - High Intensity Interval TrainingMay 24 9:00am - Columbia Gorge Explorer 2013May 24 10:00am - Salmon Creek - Brush Prairie May 25 7:30am - Columbia Gorge Explorer Day 2May 25 10:00am - CRUISER Evergreen to HighlandMay 25 2:00pm - River Maiden Show-n-GoMay 26 7:30am - Columbia Gorge Explorer - Day 3View Ride Calendar
May 24 - 27 - Columbia Gorge Explorer '13May 24 - 27 - Century Ride of the CenturiesMay 25 - 26 - Lewis & Clark UltraMay 27 - 7 Hills of KirklandMay 31 - High Tide RideJun 1 - Pioneer CenturyJun 1 - High Tide RideJun 1 - Apple CenturyJun 2 - Peninsula Metric CenturyJun 6 - 29 - PedalpaloozaView NW Events Calendar