…and some of the best times were at Interbike. Sadly, I am not there this year. Not so sadly, I am here:
My first Interbike was in ’05. A good vintage…the year the Orleans hotel shut down the bowling party because a few of us decided to experiment with bowling across the lanes rather than down them. The year Jonny posted this succinct and heartwrenching recap of the day’s proceedings:
Sometime Thursday morning on the way to the show someone tells me, “That’s how the fucking football needs to be fucked.”
I still have no idea what that means.
It is also the year I met Floyd Landis and snapped a photo that foretold my mood regarding this man only a few years later:
It could be the worst photo ever taken of me. I am proud of it.
While I was riding this morning, I was getting a bit jealous that I didn’t get to go to the show this year. While the show itself is usually filled with schwag seekers and dealers looking to score unreasonable preseason orders, the events and debauchery surrounding the show are usually good fun with good folks. The reason I did not go this year had nothing to do with not getting a pass; it wasn’t because I couldn’t get into the show. It was more of a money issue. Plane tickets aren’t cheap, and Denver isn’t as close to Vegas as Flagstaff was.
On the bicycle, things tend to make more sense. I rode up a long climb today and thought about why I do any of the things I do. Why do I get up and search for a new job? Why do I spend hours working on my classes? Why do I write books? Why do I take photos? Why do I spin wheels? In an existential way, none of these things make sense…except for that last one.
The spinning wheels part.
Humans are meant to move. It is one of our most natural inclinations, to move forward, to push on. To flex muscles and bend joints. It’s no wonder most of us experience some sort of euphoria when riding our bicycles. When I sit on the couch, I get depressed, bored, angry, lazy. When I ride, I feel strong, motivated, healthy, smart. It is a natural movement, it is a natural process. I am being human by riding a bicycle. By contrast, I am inhuman when I sit on a couch and do nothing.
While many dog on Interbike—for good reason, I might add—I will say this about it: it is the biggest celebration of being human that I have ever attended. Riding a bicycle makes us better as people, and celebrating that is good. As a capitalist pursuit, Interbike is essentially a business meeting; but goddamn if I’ve ever seen a business meeting like that.
Here’s to being human…go turn a pedal.by