Thursday, December 04, 2008


Elevated bridges are not the place to be distracted.

Distractions are everywhere. Laundry, leaves, cleaning the pool, changing the oil, beer (o.k., mostly beer), the Victoria's Secret catalog arriving in the name it. There are a great many things that provide excuses not to ride, not to try that technical section you never try, or to clean that switchback you never make. They are all just distractions that keep you from doing what you love. "I can't ride today, I have things to do!" you say. Three hours later you are still sitting in your pajamas watching old re-runs of "Goober and The Ghost Chasers" on T.V., when you could have already ridden 60 miles.

One of the few places in Columbus' Phase 2 trail where distraction can cause separtion of rider from bike.

Riding a bike IS the distraction to some. It's a way for them to escape the daily grind of work and the honey-do list at home. Striking out on a trail that you have never ridden is like getting therapy, only you don't have to sit on a couch and answer rhetorical questions for two hours. You can work out all your problems by just distracting yourself long enough on a gut-wrenching climb to make everything allright. The ceaseless droning of the road bike's wheels hurriedly making their way down a lonely road gives them the chance to make their problems disappear with every passing mile marker.

The Chalk Creek Stampede in Colorado is no place to be distracted by the vast amount of micro-breweries in this state...or is it?

Winter in Columbus is all the distraction most of us need. Despite the fact that the city plows the
bike paths usually before they plow the roads, and studded tires and winter clothing are readily available....many still opt to stay at home when it gets below 40 degrees. It's always surprising to me to see how many people actually commute along the city's bike paths regardless of the weather. These people have their gear down to a "T," and the bikes are set up to pefectly adapt to the conditions at hand.

Taylor trying to be distraction-free at Fontucky.

My favorite distraction is a six pack of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and wrestling with my five year old. The only problem is, my custom Ti hardtail sits right near the fireplace and mocks me. Medals from past mountain bike races adorn the fireplace, but thankfully I don't feel the need to "prove" myself anymore. My bike still goofs on me though. As I laugh and twist my son's body into funnel cake (mmmmmm...funnel cake), I hear my bike mocking me, calling me names. It's very distracting when I have a child in one hand and a cold beer in the other.

Being chased by a guy in red bib-tights and a triton up Mulholland Drive's famous "Rock Store" climb is so distracting, you may wish to stay home and ride the magnetic trainer instead.

I thought I'd post some photos of sunny days from all over the country, where the distraction of winter had nothing to do with anyone riding. I hope to see everyone out on their bikes over the winter, even if you only get out once. Is that the cel phone ringing? I have to go now....frikkin' distractions...

Kentucky's own Jeff Williams at the 24hrs. of Burn, where distractions ranged from "I can't feel my butt" to whether his lights would last him through the rainy and cold night.

The views from Thunder Mtn. Trail in Utah are distracting enough to turn you into Puma bait if you stare too long.


At 7:30 AM, Blogger trainwreck said...

let me get this straight. you live about 2.5 hours from the coolest and only indoor mountain bike park on the planet and i can find only one reference of it in your entire blog? talk about distractions! how about checking out some of the distractions at Ray's? distract some of your californicating friends to come ride the inside and visit you for a change huh? if you've been there and enjoy it then i applaude you. but how about pimpin it a little then? you live close to some of the best riding in the world which is Rays!

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Sharpie said...

Sorry man, it's hard to get motivated to ride INDOORS after being able to ride outdoors for 30 years. Add the non-existent time slot for a half-day's worth of driving, AND the cost of fuel and food...AND to get in, and I'm already out...regardless of how cool it is. I know people really love the foam pit and all that, but if Ray's needs the plug so badly they can certainly call me up, send me a check, and I'd be happy to write them up as often as the amount on the check would dictate.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Sharpie said...

And as far as the "Californicating" friends thing goes..I think it would be a hard-fought battle to ask my friends from ANY state to take $ from their race budget (especially in the current economic situation), fly to Columbus, ship their bikes here, and ride INDOOR when they can get on their bikes..FROM THEIR HOMES, and just go ride singletrack. We have riders from all over the country, not just California, and I would certainly invite the guys from the central and eastern part of the country to chime in if they have ever been to Ray's!
I'm sure they enjoyed it if they did, and it is highly recommended by the guys at KENDA, who go there often.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Sharpie said...

OK, so I just called some friends who go to Ray's a couple of times per year. They are guys who live here now, but are well traveled and have ridden all over the country. Of the four of them, not a single one would describe Ray's as "world class," nor would they trade a free day there for an outdoor, double lap at even Alum Creek's six mile long Phase 1 Trail. Now understand, I have not been to Ray's I will not even begin to say if it's fantastic or not. I'll let the readership post their comments and decide.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger rushman said...

Captn. please my friend that place is rad WHAT? you've got to be kidding what the hell is an INDOOR mnt. bike park.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Tookie said...

Tues.34 degree's
Wed. 45 degree's and rain.
Thur. 50 degree's light wind and sunny.
I'm going to my local trail and get distracted on some wet roots and slick rocks, any chance I get. Get some foot warmers and put on the 10 extra pounds of cloths, and go ride outside. I think that's why we started ridding bikes any way.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Vegas said...

OUTSIDE? Are you kidding??? Smog, fog, pollen, chemtrials, dust, wind, tornados, wicked witches, bees, wasps, flies, locusts, bird turds, horse turds, UVA rays, UVB rays, Ray Liotta, cars, trucks, vans, planes, trains, automobiles, walkers, joggers, hikers, lawn bowlers, other bikers, dogs, cats, bobcats, rabid squirrels, killer bunnies, Knights That Say "Ni", warm temperatures, cold temperatures, colder temperatures, dirt, mud, rocks, roots, branches, Michelle Branch, poison oak, Poisong Ivy, Mr. Freeze, steep climbs, steep descents, etc., etc., etc....No thanks!
Mole People Unite!

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Sharpie said...

Holy shit. I just realized I love mountain bike riders. You know, the kind who ride in the mountains. Outside. Sorry "trainwreck," things aren't looking so good for you so far. Thanks to those who have commented....


Post a Comment

<< Home