Save Your Breath!

Yep, I think it’s official, I owe Joe Kurmaskie a beer or 12!

Why you ask?  Is it because he has great books that have given me hours of entertainment? Is it because following him on Facebook makes me laugh at inappropriate times at work?  Is it because he has 4 boys and deserves a beer?  (well yes, any of these would be a good enough reason!)

But none are the reason for me saying this right now.  The reason is this:  Reading his books strikes a chord inside me somewhere, and then a blog post just wants to jump out!!

This happened last night.  I am rereading Riding Outside the Lines,


in particular the story about heading for Ayers rock “Three (Unlikely) Amigos”.  I won’t spoil the story (though I highly recommend this book and I will review when done!) but it had a line I read last night that stopped me short and made me think.  (not easy at 10:15 PM I tell ya!)

It was this: “If you have to explain to someone why you ride, save your breath!”

Lord aint it the truth!

Those who ask “Why would you want to pedal 200 miles in a day?” or “It’s raining, why would you want to go out there?”  or “You ride on roads isn’t that dangerous?” or any number of other questions, will never understand no matter how much you try to explain.

There is no way they would understand the thrill of topping a long hill knowing there is a fantastic downhill coming up.  Rounding the corner and being close to a deer, or elk or blue heron or any number of types of wildlife that didn’t get scared away by an engine of a car.  The feeling of pride when you look at a map and can slide your finger down for hundreds of miles showing the route you rode.

The feeling of peace when there is no one around, the road is clear, the wind is behind you and you are almost floating.  The solid feel of your legs when you slap them, knowing they will take you anywhere.  Driving up a hill in a car and thinking “Oh I could ride this sucker no problem!”

Unless you are a cyclist, there’s just no way to know all of these.

In my experience, there are 3 types of non-cyclists.  (editors note!  NONE of these are bad, nor am I meaning any insult, just my observation).

The first are those who intuitively get it!  They may have dreams of being a cyclist, or have their own sport that has this same response from people (I had it when I tried to climb mountains as well explaining to people about blue bags (look it up) or poop cans made MANY walk away)!  These folks can feel your passion and support you 100%

The second are those who would never WANT to do what I do, but are very impressed and want to hear more.  They love to ask questions, and are genuinely curious.  You can tell these by the fact they go out of their way to ask you questions about rides more than once.  They are NOT just being polite!  But there is no way they would ever want to saddle up and ride the Chilly Hilly on a rainy Sunday in February.

Then there’s the third type.  They just think I am nuts and would never want to do what I do nor are they interested in the least!  They could be great friends, and you can have other things in common, but if you mention the bike there is that glazed look that appears!

Now, just so you don’t think I am holier than thou, I think we all, at times, fit into all of these categories.  I for one will NEVER understand: Why people like to wear ties, why Levi 501s are not appropriate attire for anything, why people enjoy weddings, why someone who lives in Seattle would ever own a boat, how anyone can be a complete vegan. (NO CHEESE????), or how a guy can read Nicholas Sparks books! (sorry Dave!)  But the fact that we are all different is what makes life fun!

I am thinking most of the followers to this blog are in the first 2 categories.  But for those who aren’t but still read regularly, Thanks!!  I appreciate you doing so!  I know it can’t be easy…

But I now know, if someone ever asks, “Why the hell would you….”  I’ll just smile and shrug and save my breath!

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