...and save me the trouble.
It is an established fact that I am one of those people who cannot involve themselves in any pursuit without becoming utterly subsumed.
Take, for example, reading: it wasn't enough to read The Hobbit and the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy — no, I also had to read The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand, and every other bit of Middle-Earthian lore I could lay hands on.
Or music: as a kid, I wasn't content to simply play violin or sing in the choir. Even though I rarely got to sleep before midnight, I got up at 5 AM to practice violin for two hours before school every day. At eight years old, I set out on a successful campaign to first secure my position as the go-to treble soloist/descant guy, then as Head Chorister in my choir. I was pretty much 'deadly serious' about music, and I thoroughly enjoyed all that seriousness.
Or horses: I didn't just go to the barn and ride. I lived at the barn (in the summers, almost literally). I obsessed about minutiae. I memorized judging rubrics for every discipline I encountered, including those in which I have never actually participated (oddly, I did not devote such slavish attention to memorizing dressage tests, which would've been a much more productive use of my time -- I suspect, though, that was because I didn't grok dressage at the time). I went to horse shows major and minor and stood by the rail whenever I wasn't in the ring, mentally judging the classes I watched and comparing my results to the judges'.
When I wasn't at the barn or doing music stuff, I could be found perfecting the art of riding my bike as fast as possible around and around and around and around the loop of roads surrounding my neighborhood, which made a convenient all-right-turns 'track,' though in my ignorance I somehow no more realized that cycling was actually a competitive discipline one could practice than I grasped that one could actually work as a church musician, even though I was aware of the existence of the TDF and my choirmaster was a professional church musician. Yes, I was weirdly oblivious to all that fell outside of my ridiculously narrow range of focus.
For the record, I suspect that my Mom might well be glad I had no idea I could, you know, actually RACE bikes in an organized and resource-consuming fashion. To my mind, racing bikes was what you did with your friends when you weren't at school, at the barn, or grinning maniacally as you smoked them on the ski slopes. The friends I did have were basically all as looney as I was, so at least the 'implied race' was always fair — whenever two or more of us were gathered on our skis, or on our bikes, there was going to be a race, end of story. Likewise, we were known to engage in hot debates over whose Lessons and Carols service involved more challenging music this year. (Yet we continually wondered why everyone else thought we were weird. Hmmmm...)
By now I'm sure you've either wandered away to another, far more interesting blog or are wondering where I'm going with all this. Here's the thing: anyone who knows a poorly-adjusted border collie knows that the ability to focus that intently (or, rather, the inability to shift focus away from its desired target) is not always a good thing.
Sometimes it's good to look at the moon — and sometimes we're so busy staring at the moon, memorizing that particular little shadow over there, that we walk right off the edge of a cliff.
Thus, in the spirit of falling off the edge of a cliff, I have recently been distracted by other people's accounts of how fun it is to be a mediocre competitive cyclist.
The terrible, secret truth is that some part of me would absolutely love to race, because I am a sucker for competition of all kinds. However, I am inclined to think that if I decided to become even a mediocre competitive cyclist, I would kill myself, because like the poorly-adjusted border collie, I don't know when to stop going after the ball.
In other words, it is pretty much inevitable that if I ever take up bike racing, no matter how pitifully parochial the level, I will overdo it and kill myself (anyone who tells you that it is impossible for any but the most elite athlete to overtrain has clearly never met me) ... but it sounds like so much fun!
So, basically, I was thinking that it might save me a lot of time and expense if someone would just volunteer to push me in front of a truck the moment the words "I've decided to try racing," leave my mouth (or, in this case, hands). Any takers?
In other news, yesterday, I was hauling butt down the road, running late for a visit with my friend Michelle, and was just slowing down to stop for a red light when a familiar voice said, "Asher?"
Turns out it was a friend (if I may so presume to call her) from work who also rides, but hasn't been commuting by bike until this week. She was able to find a place to shower and change, so it looks like my department just gained another bike commuter (though last night she was on her way to one of her weekly group rides). Yeay!
Edit: To be fair, I should note that my friend from work is probably faster than I am, not to mention fitter. She pulled up looking cool as a cucumber, while I was huffing like a steam train. I think she came by a different route, or she probably would've dropped me like a bad habit long before.
Also, she has a pretty sweet bike!