Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Special report

Associated Press Special Report:

Reports surfaced late Sunday afternoon that one of the Northland's most endearing treasures has gone missing, Sir Eki of enduro-cycling fame. A frantic call was placed to the Duluth Police Department by new inductee to the prestigious, albeit highly secretive DBD Adventure Club, Eki's wife Amy. She stated that he disappeared out of their modest Piedmont Heights abode shortly after she witnessed him reading an email placed by Farrow, a rogue local cyclist of suspect character. Heck of the North Race Director, Jeremy Kershaw via telephone after the inaugural event was held, in which both Eki and Farrow were knocked out of the competition, commented. "We were all saddened and disappointed when word spread that Eki was knocked out of the race due to an unforeseen catastrophic mechanical failure. He was riding so strong and seemed to be a player in controlling the pace of the super strong break away group." However, Kershaw did not feel that way with Farrow's DNF. "I'm however most disappointed with Farrow. He (Farrow) continues to confound us as he throws around DBD guidelines based on his own whims. Apparently, he left the course with an operable bike in order to ride home. We can't figure out why he DQ'd himself, why didn't he just ride out the course? This is clearly in violation of DBD contractual agreements," stated an obviously upset Kershaw.

Authorities confiscated the computer Eki was last seen using, it was there that an I.T. staff were able to recover a partial email (encrypted) sent by Farrow, clearly encouraging Eki to end it all in some kind of cultish suicide pact involving a roguish group calling itself "The DBD." It seems that Farrow's DBD group may be in fact a splinter group or reflective of a schism that has occured within the famous DBD Adventure Club. Contents of this email included false quotes from the famous Sir George Mallory instructing Eki to end his shame and to "do the right thing.” Amy was inconsolable as she was lead away from her home for a short stay in Miller Dwan's Mental Health Unit. She was reportedly heard to be screaming obscenities about Farrow and how she wouldn't quit until the truth was known. Neighbors stated that it reminded them of Angelina Jolie in the block buster Changeling.

Here is what is currently known: At approximately 4 a.m. Monday, September 28th, a black Specialized Tri Cross with Ritchy Speedmax tires was found without a chain near Grain Elevator #5 located in the Duluth harbor area. The bike was positively identified by those close to Eki as the machine that lead him to several top finishes throughout the 2009 season. There was no evidence of foul play and authorities suspect that the athlete may have left the shoreline under his own recognizance.

Mallory, contacted via telegraph at DBD headquarters somewhere in the Himalaya, had this to say; "We at DBD wish nothing but the best for his wife and are honored to have her with us now. Also, we will spin the prayer wheels daily until our beloved Eki returns home to us. It is our hope that he simply hopped on a Great Lakes vessel and will be discovered shortly as a deck hand on the GOTT. Or maybe turn up here on the Tibetan Plateau for a brief respite and a bit of scotch and a good pipe smoke. As for Farrow, I guess I should have known. He has consistently disappointed us and we at headquarters have not ruled out foul play. This act will haunt Farrow for the rest of his days, he cut Eki's rope, we can't forgive him for that, this time he has gone too far. We suspect that that Buffington character may also be involved as he had a grudge against EKI as well."

Duluth Police chief commented that this investigation remains open and ongoing. "We are currently dragging the Duluth harbor and any news on Farrow's whereabouts would be greatly appreciated. We will not rest until Eki is back on his bike and his good name is re-established among the DBD'ers. Long live Sir Eki."

Note: AP was not able to substantiate the authenticity of the Mallory communiqué or the claim that Ms. Ek has been named as a member of the DBD Club.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blues are bluer, rain feels wetter...I live...

I survived the fall and am fully reinstated after review of circumstances surrounding my disqualification @ Heck... Heck of the North: full race report to follow in near future...S. Gort WINS w/ McFadden on the hunt 'til the bitter end...Pramann in his early 80's still a force...Jason Buffington with DNF brings shame onto all of North-Central Minnesota, yet seeks redemption with top notch brews...Eki DNFs, accepts ride from a big hearted tender woman, defies DBD mandate, and is thrown out of club. Currently he is M.I.A. Kershaw poised to earn DBD patch?...Due to effort in Heck, Rich wins sponsorship from AARP...J. Ross is censured due to leading front group astray in final lead-up to Seven Bridges...All this and much more in a few dayz...I am a bit sore from the fall off of Enger Tower

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dear Mallory and other esteemed members of the DBD Honor Council:

Before I throw myself off the Enger Tower for acts of dishonor @ the Heck of the North in accordance with proper DBD protocol [next to my name on the results sheet is the unforgivable abbreviation “DQed”], let it be known that at least I held on to a semblance of dignity on that fateful day, in that unlike the “other member" that too joined the ranks of the “unwashed DNF rabble,” but exponentially compounded his sin by accepting a ride, I rode in under my own power. I guess at this point all that I can hope for is that "he" who perpetrated this even more despicable act of dishonor shall follow my example and fling himself off his own cliff and/or tower of his choosing.

I stand here now on the Enger’s precipice having chosen it as a symbolic and fitting end to a very nice ride. It has been a good ride and I owe much to the DBD. Of course, I had hoped that the end would come much in the manner or circumstance as it did for my mentors and club leaders. Mallory went on the great slopes of mighty Everest, Tilman on the tempestuous Atlantic somewhere in the northern latitudes, Shackleton and Scott amid the majesty of the polar reaches, while both Hillary and Mawson lived well into their old ages after having lived long lives of great adventure. But as Vonnegut is fond of saying as he chain-smokes in the billiards room of the club house, “so it goes.”

So fare-the-well and continue to support Jeremy Kershaw and his amazing new addition to the grass roots gravel-road racing phenomenon that is soooo good for cycling here in the Midwest. Instruct the body snatchers to leave me well enough alone, I deserve to be crow food...especially after missing Jason's Heck of the North post party...

Best regards,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I cherish living and racing my bicycle in Duluth, Minnesota!!!!

The Heck of the North....itz gonna so be great... BRAVO JEREMY KERSHAW BRAVO...Long live the gravel-road racing visionaries and their hardy committed brew masters... Letz frame or add a bit of perspective to this phenomenal event---Free 100 mile bike race that uses the Northland's magical gravel roads as its canvas (in the fall with the beautiful colors of autumn that are unsurpassed), followed up with free beer brewed by a local maestro of fermented barley and hops...Pinch me!!! Am I dreaming?....On tap: When I read the descriptors below, I wept like a defrocked TV Evangelist... "The Rossini Dry Rye, a Bavarian style wheat with some rye grains for flavor and substance. The Gravel Stout, a traditional Irish Stout, with a little French Roast Coffee added to the secondary fermenter."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Oh...I do so want to go to the ball, but I have nothing to wear!"

Oh, well. What's a royal ball? After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and-and-and boring, and-and completely... Completely wonderful.” Cinderella

Cinderella: The Heck of the North….Why, it's like a dream. A wonderful dream come true.
Fairy Godmother: Yes, my child, but like all dreams, well, I'm afraid this can't last forever. You'll have only 'til 1:00 pm to make the checkpoint, and then...
Cinderella: after noon, you mean 1:00 pm? Oh, thank you.
Fairy Godmother: Oh, now, now, now, now, now, just a minute. You must understand, my dear: On the stroke of one, the spell will be broken, and everything will be as it was before.
Cinderella: Oh, I understand, but... it's more than I ever hoped for.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Much to do about nothing...Part II of the Seven Oaks Saga

Hemingway (an honorary DBD member) is attributed to have said something like,”there are really only three REAL sports; bull fighting, car racing, and mountain climbing, all the rest are just games.” Of course the implication being that real sports can get ya killed as a routine manner of participation. Mountaineers get killed all the time. The literal interpretation is that he was looking at degrees of personal commitment as a primary factor in assessing or comparing modern sports—Bull fighting where many involved (I include the bull) are brutally killed as compared to golf where one risks an irksome blister. Yet, he may also have been expounding upon the extraordinary thrill one gets from having achieved the goals associated with these three “real” sports. I'll ask him to clarify next time I see him on the DBD yacht where he is known to frequent and to drink copious amounts of ten year old Stranahan Whiskey with Mallory, Tilman, and Hillary as they regale the old dayz and mock the present sad state of affairs.

I have engaged in a multitude of "games" all my life including football, wrestling, track, rugby, skiing, cycling, and several more but none of these activities (many of which are reserved only for the tough-minded and physically fit) ever gave me the kind of adrenaline rush that is comparable to the "sporting" endeavor of attempting to climb a lonely far-flung, steep-sided, icy mountain with a small group of friends. That is until I started competing in these new ultra-endurance cycling events, especially the ones that emphasize self-reliance. It is hard to convey the anticipatory lead up, the excitement and fluidity during, and the sense of relief when it is finally over to those that have not yet experienced it, but the whole 24 hour mountain bike race phenomenon (or other long long distance cycling events as well), in my opinion, is about as close as you can get to a “real sport” without killing or being killed by a bull, climbing K2, or racing a formula one in Monaco. I can only imagine what it must be like to plan and compete in the Great Divide Race or the Alaskan Invitational (I plan to find out someday). I was so pumped for the 24 Hours @ Seven Oaks that I could think of nothing else for a week out from the start. This is of course a dangerous mindset because it led me to continually mess around with my bike and various other important considerations.

Dangerous, because I have enough experience in these matters to have developed a system that works for me and inevitably if I start messing with this basic system problems arise. Case-in-point, I made several spur-of-the-moment nutritional and/or ”pharmaceutical” decisions at the beginning of this May’s Trans-Iowa that ultimately led to my near complete collapse relatively early into that event. I tell myself, “Go with what works,” but I am of the sort that constantly over-thinks and overcompensates. Initially, I was fairly committed to trying to race Seven-Oaks using a single speed, but thankfully I had the where-with-all to contact a most talented single-speeder from Decorah Iowa, Ben Shockey, for advice. His honest and detailed assessment allowed me to ditch that idea and to instead focus on getting the right 1x9 set-up. Based on his descriptions of the course I logically decided to go with a 32 X 11-34 gearing. Yet by mid-week leading up to the race, I had analyzed, then rationalized, and finally justified going with a 34 tooth ring in the front. Then on that Friday before, as I packed the car, in what seemed to me to be a last minute Divine revelation (that Iowa was just flat farm country and that Mr. Shockey’s description of a very hilly course was contextual and those tempered by his environment), I hastily replaced the 34 ring with a 36 ring, and of course for my abilities the 32 would have been the best as the course was just as Shockey had described and after the initial hours during the race, I found myself really struggling with the 36 X 11-34 on several of the hills. So it goes…

Also, due to past experiences with damaged hands and wrists from riding 24 hour races with a fully rigid set-up I jumped at the generous offer by my good friend Scotty Kylander-Johnson to loan me a front suspension fork. It worked as prescribed and yet I am still of the opinion that for most races (even the majority of the WEMS twelve hour events) one is not significantly penalized by going with a rigid fork, especially with the advent of the Ergon grips. Although, the suspension fork I used at Seven-Oaks had a fully-functional lock-out that was easy to activate and thus I was spared that “bouncy feel” that I associate suspension forks with when climbing or riding out of the saddle (It was of the FOX brand).

Regarding the race from a personal perspective, there is not much more to report as I covered the most memorable aspects in Part I of the recap. I do remember being impressed with this fellow they call, “Squirrel.” Clearly a charismatic character, “Squirrel” is festooned with tattoos that celebrate his obvious affection for cycling. But apart from his obvious flamboyance, he is clearly a top-notch rider. I figured he was going to win it, so I was surprised (and somewhat selfishly buoyed) when I realized rather late night or early morning that he was not riding anymore. The young man that did win won easily with Squirrel pulling out. The winner’s name is Stephen Carney, a young amiable guy in his early twenties, who was riding so fast that early on I figured that he was racing the twelve hour event. Note: his older brother, Andrew Carney, won the race in 2008, now lives in Colorado, and is part of the top echelon of endurance racers in the country. His younger brother is not far behind. The Brothers Carney are blessed with two very nice and friendly parents who I had the pleasure of meeting after the race. Of course, as the race progressed it became clear that, barring any catastrophic equipment breakdown, Carney was going to win. Yet, these catastrophic equipment breakdowns do occur and racers in 24 hour events do fall apart near the end and so I soldiered on…

Ultimately and impressively, the young Carney, who has a cheerful disposition, rode 20 laps while I was able to limp in for 18 laps and a lucky second place finish. Mine was not a stellar performance by any stretch of the word. I walked a lot, engaged in dramatic self-loathing, and even took two “naps” on the trail in a forlorn effort at physical and mental revival. I remember being utterly demoralized on lap fourteen, in tears planning my retreat which included fantasying about finishing the lap, packing it in, and driving to a motel for a shower and a soft bed. The third place guy, another young strapping lad, rode 17 laps (Note: late night/early morning he made the youthful mistake of laying down in his tent for just a momentary respite and you can guess what happened), but had he known the advanced stages of devolution that I was in, he could have easily beaten me.

Toward the end with but a couple hours left, the way these things usually play out is that the top guy sorta waits around to see if he needs to keep doing laps based on what the second, third, fourth guyz are up to. By mid-morning (or ~twenty-one+ hours into it), Carney had put up twenty laps which represented a clear victory, but for me, upon completion of my seventeenth, since I was on the same lap as the guy directly behind me, I was faced with the decision to either stay put and see if the guy(s) behind me went on (which would mean that I would have to essentially race him on the last lap for second place), or trudge on and put one more lap up which would probably secure second place or at least force the ball into his court. Now sitting here typing this or as you read along, the decision seems quite obvious. But Dear Reader, you must consider that I was a mere shell of a man at that point. After seventeen laps and twenty-one hours, I had pretty much played all my cards and thus I had resolved that I would wait (and really by waiting...decided that I was done, done, done). At the race-table, I asked one of the organizers about how the third place guy looked, how he was riding, etc. His response was heartening as he said that he was about in the same shape as I was in and then he added, “You should try to do one more lap, you know that second place pays $500…don’t you?” Suddenly, my mind cleared…and I rode off to get that final lap…So it goes………….

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good luck to all the Guyz and Gals that are set to race in the most awesome Powder Monkey here in Duluth on this Sunday!!!

I love the Powder Monkey race held over at Spirit Mt Ski Resort and even though I am NOT in good standing with the United States Cycling Association, I due hold a current license and I was fired up to get smoked by a bunch of talented fast guyz in a short, but very intense race. Plus I am a member of COGGS and so I wanted to show my support by racing their event, but I am still just too wasted from last weekend's 24 hours @ Seven Oaks, (my resting heart rate is still way above normal, I can only drink India Pale Ales, and I actually enjoyed mowing the lawn earlier today?). I can still get out there and fight the good fight, but it takes me quite abit longer to fully recovery from these endurance races. As soon as I get my appetite back for a good chewy oatmeal stout and the thought of mowing the lawn nauseates me, I'll be back and ready to go. Probably in a few more it goes...I am working on the second part of the 24 hour race recap...and trying to build up my Merlin into a sleek Single Speed for the Heck of the North...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

24 Hours @ Seven Oaks: Part I of a Race Report

EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA: The young man that so generously helped me out during the 24 Hours @ Seven Oaks was Kyle Robinson of Kyle's Bikes of Ankeny, Iowa. I've never been there, but I'd wager a month's salary that you'd get great service at his bike store. I plan to visit it next time I'm in the Iowa. Maybe next spring on my way down to the Trans-Iowa...Thanks again Kyle :)
Part I “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the Good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"” Martin Luther King Jr.

Where to start? What happened over in Boone, Iowa that really impressed me? What have a learned from this experience that I can take with me?

Letz begin with a brief narrative on the wonderful nature of Good Samaritans and how having them around makes the world a better place. Thankfully, I had two of them hovering around me during the 24 Hours @ Seven Oaks last weekend in the form of Dave Schuneman from Duluth and an Iowan guy that was one of the race directors of this fine event (I am embarrassed to admit that I have forgotten his name as my brain was cooked after about the first six hours in the saddle and remained that way until about six hours ago some dayz afterward). The incredible guy from Iowa (whose name I will obtain sooner or later so as to provide him with the public “thank you” he so deserves) initially came to my aid very early into the race, when I made a stupid overcorrection coming off of a corner leading into the final speedy descent heading into the start/finish area. The characteristically klutzy move sent me careening into a patch of high grass and weeds; all of which became implausibly entangled in my rear wheel so tightly and massively that the effect was to bend my rear brake rotor to the extent that the wheel was locked up. This was early in the race and so I was still very excitable, so of course, the first thing I did was grab the rotor and then immediately thereafter, as my hand began to smoke and burn, I screamed out that universal single syllable utterance reserved for those engaged in self-destructive, stupid behaviors. My hand cooled as I began the echoing phase of the uttering (with feeling) over and over again of that universal single syllable reserved for those engaged in really stupid behaviors, but alas I was at a complete loss of what to do other than to continue to repeat the “word”. Finally, I resolved to pull the rear wheel off and then beat the wheel (with anger) on the ground while continuing to repeat the “word.” As I engaged in this behavior others were flying by me heading into the pit area, which intensified the situation. As I rotated between beating the wheel, trying to pull out all the wiry vegetation, and swearing with dramatic conviction—out of nowhere arrived my Good Samaritan from Iowa.

Having walked all the way up from his scoring station at the port of entry and departure, he offered his assistance, “Hey can I help you out?” His affect was immediately calming and thus with his assistance, mostly moral support, I was able to loosen up the brake caliper enough to allow for the big warp in the rotor, and get the wheel back on well enough to ride back to my car. At my car I took a big crescent wrench and bent the rotor back into “good enough” shape. I am making light of this incident now in my write up, but when I look back on the race this charitable gesture on his part is affixed in my memory. It was pretty darn nice of him and he was not the only one. The guyz that run this race are what my dad likes to call, “good people.”

My second encounter with Good Samaritans occurred early morning on about my thirteenth or maybe fourteenth lap. Near the beginning of the course, about ten minutes into it, there is a tight fun little roller-coaster section featuring a narrow ascending bridge that is designed so as to allow for fast riding. I was starting to get a kind of “second wind” after really struggling on laps eleven and twelve, so I was “givin’ her” through this terrain when suddenly and without any warning my seat-post snapped off right below the area where the saddle rails are attached. It was that fast, no crash, no major hit, just a loud “SNAP!” Initially, I was dumbstruck, dismayed, confused, I could not understand, for it seemingly broke off without any hit, or any trauma, and it happened so unexpectedly that I could not even articulate “the word” that is a universal single syllable utterance reserved for those engaged in self-destructive stupid behaviors. For what must have been a couple minutes I just stood there with my narrow beam of light going up and down the seat-post trying to comprehend what had happened. For those of you that have engaged in these long long events you know how ones brain becomes incredibly simplistic or reduced craving and attending only to the most elemental needs and concepts, this is especially true with the onset of darkness. So after some period of time this solo guy rides up who is also at my diminish level intellectually, given the context in which we are trying to cope. The bright lights that festoon our bikes and helmets blind us, so we shield our eyes and speak only to the ground or into the glare. I say to him, “Seat post broken?” He sez, “Yes, broken.” I say “_____” (hint: that word) and he repeats the word and adds, “Yeah, you’re _____ed.” So I say, “I borrow a multi-tool?” He sez, “Don’t have one.” Then the conversation got really weird, when I asked him, “You think I can ride it the way it is?” He sez, “You could hurt yourself something bad if that sharp post gets you in your privates, but I am not going to pass judgment on you.” I said, “Thanks man, it nice not to be judged.” I remember laughing/crying as he rode away. He was not out-of-sight, before I started riding it. I recall being completely and utterly focused on standing, never ever sitting, and on not falling. Upon reflection, I think that I have not been able to achieve that kind of intense concentration of singular purpose since I was heavily into climbing. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. I lapsed into the basic mantra of “stand pedal stand pedal stand pedal.” The course is such that it is easy to see people zig-zagging up the backside of this long heavily wooded hilly expanse. Whenever I would see a light, I would yell for a multi-tool, but to no avail. Eventually, riding across the wide expanse on a higher zig near the top, on the zag immediately below me I saw two lights approaching. When they were directly below me, I stopped and frantically yelled to see if they had a multi-tool. They both stopped and the one guy immediately called back in the affirmative. I left my bike and jumped down to there level and realized to my astonishment that the duo consisted of Dave Schuneman and the same Iowan guy that helped me out much earlier in the race (one of the race directors, no less). Even now, writing about this miraculous encounter brings me to smile, “Yes Charlie, there is indeed a Santa Claus.” With the tool I was able to pull out the seat-post turned implement-of-torture and ride the bike without fear of spontaneous bloody castration. The effect was two-fold, initially my heart soared as I sensed salvation and yet with the lost of the threat of horrible harm to my manhood, I began to experience extreme fatigue in my legs from having to stand and at the same time ride fast enough to try and stay with my two saviors as those rode the course. I was lucid enough to realize that if I was going to be able to stay in the race I was going to have to rely heavily on these guyz. As we rode along, they both assured me that they were going to find away to help me out. I could not believe my good fortune…

A man needs a plan and so as we rode together I began to formulate one. When we neared the pit area, I was keen on a scenario that involved shamelessly begging for a bike to borrow and I had a few guyz in mind that I figured would try to help me out. Additionally, the humanitarian from Iowa, who had rode out ahead of me with the goal of trying to secure a bike for me to use, was to meet me at the scoring table with any potential donors. Yet, unexpectedly, Dave as we approached his pit insisted that I take his seat-post. We both ride steel frames and so the seat post was of the right fit. I put up a weak protest, but to be honest I was so pumped as I knew I had a chance at a podium finish!!! Heroically, he had tried to race the course on a rigid single-speed and he was pretty toasted or at least that is what I told myself as I hurriedly and selfishly retro-fitted his post onto the Trusty Gunnar and took off…The fact-of-the-matter is that he was riding really well, which makes his gift to me even more thoughtful…I hope that I can repay him and that Iowan back someday, or at least offer up such a selfless act to some guy in need someday. THANK A LOT GUYZto be continued

Part II: “When in doubt, nap.” Or, How I lucked into a load of cash for riding my bike for 22 hours. In a few dayz

Monday, September 7, 2009

THANKING YOU, SEVEN OAKS...THE 24 Hours @ Seven Oaks did not disappoint!!!!

The 24 Hours @ Seven Oaks encompasses all that I believe competitive mountain bike races should aspire to. Amazing course, great organization, and an overwhelming sense of camaraderie and good cheer!!! In my world, next to the Trans-Iowa (also in Iowa...go figure), the 24 Hours @ Seven Oaks is the best deal in cycling that I have come upon. A full race report to follow in a few dayz, but seriously consider driving down to Boone, Iowa next year during the Labor Day weekend and get involved in this amazing event.

Also, a heart felt public acknowledgement of the selfless gesture of Dave Schuneman (a local fellow Duluthian and amazing friend) who without hesitation gave me his seatpost in the wee hours of Sunday morning after I snapped mine off at the saddle early into my thirteenth lap (which in turn lead to a harrowing loop for me, but more on that later in the forthcoming report, but think Vladimir the Impaler). He saved the race for me, gave up his chances to continue riding, and I owe him BIG TIME!!!!!

24 Hours @ Seven Oaks...A top notch, full-0n RACER FRIENDLY event in every sense....

NOTE: Parents with school-aged children are strongly cautioned against allowing their children to view the President's speech to America's School children to be delivered on 9/08. Rumors are that he will fill their minds with socialist dogma including promoting young people to do their best in school for the good of the community!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Self-loathing and misguided angst as the Dance approaches...

Think of me as you go about your lazy Labor Day weekend tasks. At noon on Saturday, pool side, whilst you plan a nice relaxing interlude on the local links, I will be mounting my trusty steel Gunnar amid stalwart, eager rivals, many of whom are half my age and all endowed with youthful working joints and pliable ligaments and sinew. During the last vestiges of day-light as you fire up the barbeque, beer-in-hand, albeit a slightly sore lower back from recklessly deviating from perfect posture when you lifted your clubs into the golf cart, I'll be just seven or eight hours into the madness. After brushing your teeth and pulling those nose and ear hairs and as you cozy up into your little nesting cradle, briefly think of me as I will be marching alone to a forlorn hope of salvation, ten hours into it, but not yet halfway. At 4:00 am when you are awakened by the cat dragging in a struggling chipmunk well into its death throes, think of me as you stare into the eyes of the chipmunk as I'll be eight hours more on my bike before its over. Reading the Sunday papers, at 9:00 am whilst enjoying your coffee (with cream) and a generous portion of ham, eggs, and melted cheese on an English muffin, just the way you like it, give a momentary pause to think of me for I shall be twenty-one hours into the degradation and completely and utterly reduced. At noon on Sunday as you dig into the leather couch to watch the Pre-season NFL games for the rest of the day, think of a broken man, a feeble shell of a man, a very very old man trying to lift his ravaged leg over a dirt encased bicycle...THE HORROR...THE HORROR...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Four dayz out, Baby and it don't mean nothin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I find myself in times of uncertainty, questioning the world as it is, unsure of my motivations and aspirations, George Mallory comes to me, whispering words of wisdom...

"The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, What is the use of climbing Mount Everest? and my answer must at once be, It is no use. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It's no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for."
George Mallory
Founder of the AMAC
Founder of the DBD