From Day to Day


I rarely claim to know anything with absolute certainty
and I am always suspect of those who believe they do.

Even scientific absolutes are these days held as truth only until they are disproved, this is a given; only ignorance stands on absolutes. But if I were pressed to hold out one thing as a given truth, I would have to say that I know without question that I am 100% better in the wilderness than I am in the company of others. I could sit in the woods of the mountains and wither away and be content with that. I wouldn’t have to think or act, I could simply be until I wasn’t any longer, disappearing as I ran along obscure mountain trails.

I started riding today with that old feeling in my gut. We have a friend who has suddenly become sick. We have dear friends who are leaving to go back to their home country. We are in the middle of sorting out our next steps in life. So many thoughts around work and intent and purpose and reason, about a hometown that feels increasingly alienating. I don’t take any of these things lightly. I was begging today – literally telling myself to focus on my movement – for freedom from myself. I knew this was possible, that I could drop the chatter and baggage of life as it is in 2016. It only requires focus, drilling into one thing. For me today it was the stroke of the pedal, necessarily smooth as dictated by trails of sheer ice, like riding along the surface of a diamond.

It took some time while pedaling up the Highline to forget my thoughts. I kept seeing a video a friend of mine had shared about Nino Schurter’s gym training and that spurred me on at a pace better than I’m used to. I checked my watch at the bottom of the Stewart Creek climb and clicked down a gear and lowered my chest to my bike. Time to suffer. Time to suffer. I was crying as I began the climb but it was all soon forgotten. Pain in my lungs, pain in my thighs, and the pinpoint precision of riding on a dugout, icy trough late in February. Go away. Please go away.

Along the traverse of the Highline I was smiling. My legs were tired but the technical challenge of riding in the winter drew my attention toward the few feet of trail in front of my tires. I felt stronger than I have for weeks, and although the ice prevented exhibiting full power on climbs I attacked nonetheless, smooth strokes, even weight. Gnashing my ego away in the wilderness.

There is nothing that I know of for sure.
Like the rest of you, my presence here is a joke.
We strut and fret our hour upon the stage.


Read previous articles by KD:
Bike Culture 1 | Hey Canmore, Show us your goods
Bike Culture 2 | The Single Track Commute
Bike Culture 3 | Group Rides
Bike Culture 4 | Beyond Good and Evil
Bike Culture 5 | Even the Bad Days
Bike Culture 6 | The Crits
Bike Culture 7 | Suffering

KD in Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park

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