As I sitting here this evening, back door open, rain coming down and cool breeze coming into the house I am thinking that I might have a shot at getting some sleep tonight since it aint so stinkin hot. When the house is quiet like this (kids are at their mom’s, Michelle is out like a light) you never know where your head may wander or what thoughts pop into your head.
Tonight for some reason, I thought about the talks I have with myself while on the bike…
I am taking a chance with writing this post. If the men in the twinkie truck with the custom fit jackets read it, I may end up in a padded room. But then, sometimes being in a padded room and really bouncing off walls sounds like fun. So it’s worth the chance.
As anyone knows who reads this blog, I ride alone. Most of my friends think I am nuts to ride as far and as often as I do, plus non of them are cyclists, so that leaves them out. I could join social rides through Cascade Bike Club, but I like to go where I want, when I want, at the speed I want and stop if I want.
In essence I like the independence of a solo ride…
That being said, Michelle says that I am a chatterer in general (though I argue I am antisocial) so at times, alone on a bike, I start chatting with myself. And by chatting I mean out loud in a conversational volume… (Yep to answer your question, I have gotten strange looks….)
The conversations take two different paths. When, like Friday’s 40 mile scenic route home, I had a bald eagle fly about 20 feet over my head and out onto the lake, or along my route I can stop and see something a car can’t
I will get a big dumb grin on my face and say “Son, this is why we do what we do!” Nope, no idea why it’s ‘we’ but I have been known to SHOUT this out at the crest of a hill just before a long, beyond fun downhill! If it’s a long enough downhill, I sing LOUDLY. My wife caught me doing that on the Crater Lake ride.
It was downhill from the highest point, I was bellowing out a country song, echoing off the walls, and she heard me a mile away. (Now on an epic downhill like this, VERY little will make me stop, but a sexy wife on the side of the road holding a cold gatorade on a 95 degree day… Yeah I stopped quick!)
Most times though, the talking comes when I am a hurting camper on the bike. When I need a pep talk.
When times like this happen, strangely I refer to myself as “Stroh”. As in: “Stroh you know you got this!” “Stroh we are getting close!” or “Damn Stroh, you can do 25 miles in your sleep, keep going almost there!” “Stroh you’ve climbed steeper hills MANY times!” And my favorite. “Keep those legs moving Stroh!”
Like I said, I sometimes get strange looks…
During the STP, with the hot, I’ve told you I was hurting and thought about packing it in. The Crater Lake Century last year, the same thing. It was hot, I was tired, and I was trying to figure out both times whose STUPID idea it was that I was out there (For the record, it’s ALWAYS my ides.)
When I am really hitting rock bottom, when I am actually considering giving up and calling it quits (yep it’s happened more times than I can count, though I have yet to throw in the towel) The same thing happens each time.
Back in 1984, was a song (I think a one hit wonder) by Dennis DeYoung “Don’t wait for heroes.” The Mudsucker and I loved the video for this song. The crux, a the band is down and out, and someone suggests they give up and not do an audition. It looks like that’s going to happen, and there is a pause when the lead singer says “LIKE HELL!”
I do the same thing. In my head I hear myself say, “We could pack it in, catch a sag van bag. I could be done now, and no one would fault me. Let’s shut it down Stroh.” I am happy to say that each time this has happened so far, I have said (ok sometimes snarled) “LIKE HELL!!” and kept going!
Why do I talk to myself? No idea, I have for as long as I can remember. I’ve always heard it ok as long as you don’t answer yourself (but I do that too). I guess as long as I don’t do it while I am teaching a class, or in a meeting, or in front of my doctor I am ok.
And, as long as it keeps me in the saddle, and helps me be successful, who am I to argue. If it aint broke don’t fix it!
“Keep those legs moving Stroh! Son, it’s why we do what we do!”
Thanks for stopping by!