"If you're a professional hater, I got a full time job here for ya."
- The Situation
There is always a healthy soupcon of self loathing going on about cycling. You have your pro cycling hatred, which to me is a giant flaming bag of whatever. Maybe they're all on the 'roids, maybe they ain't. That doesn't make them any different from most of the rest of pro athletes out there, only generally less well paid for their efforts. If Tiger and Dara Torres were pro cyclists, they'd already be spinning on the spit of public opinion right now. Combine Tiger's libido with Torres', ahem, timelessness - she's markedly older than me for Christ's sake - and you wind up with Cipo. Now that I think of it, if you combined the two they'd kind of look like Cipo. Hmm. Anyway, pro cycling is a hell of a lot more interesting to me than some other sports but whether Andy Schleck is smoking rolled up goat placentas in some hunting lodge in Luxembourg over the winter doesn't get my dander up. A new round of baseball players getting $12mm/year contracts today gets my dander up a bit. What do these people add to the world? Take Bill Gates out of the equation and we're back to Fred and Barney and Arnold the Paper Boy. Take Steve Jobs out of the equation and not a single person reading this would know how to live through intervals. Take Tiger, Beckham, Barry, Vick or other ad nauseum out of the equation and we'd be in the same exact place we are, but maybe a trifle less disillusioned.
But I never get the plan that people like the Bike Snob are on there. That guy more than any other makes no sense on this soapbox of "the world spends too much time trying to be pro cyclists" tip. So go back to whatever it was that you were doing before you decided to chase the equivalent of minimum wage writing smarmy crap about smarmy people, and "selling out" to a magazine whose editorial calendar hasn't changed since John Boyd Dunlop (look it up) first showed us "How To Change A Flat In Record Time!"
The simple fact is that I and an alarming number of others are pretty freaking excited to spend what many would think of as an inappropriate amount of time preparing to race our bikes. Are we adding any value to the world? Other than the fact that the vast majority of those people are markedly less likely to wind up spreading Type Two Flu, and for the most part are at least quasi-social and some of them even pursue such ridiculous feats as doing things for others, not really. The latest edition of the WCP catalog could convince you that we're inspiring a nearly unprecedented amount of useless, overly high tech crap that points the means of production toward ends it should never seek. On the other hand, are there a bunch of times when I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for the yogic clarity that cycling imparts (I'm famous for my yogic clarity), I would have definitely mowed people down with shotgun fire? Those who know me have their hands raised high for that one. Are there weeks when work is so boring/stressful/frustrating/depressing/etc that I would have sawed off my wrists just to make it stop were it not for cycling. Yuh huh. Are there times when things are going like crap but you set a new milestone or have a great result and dealing with what ain't right seems a lot easier? Check.
The thing that does get me is the amateur cyclists who smoke rolled up goat placentas or whatever else. Not that it makes me angry, it's just one of those things. Like cocaine is God's way of telling you that you make too much money, that's a pretty good sign that you're a little obsessed with cycling. And a douche bag. But even then, something can be done about it. Details on the late edition.
I'm far from perfect, as are most cyclists professional or otherwise, and as are most other people in the world. But as long as my relationship with my wife and other important people is continuing to grow and strengthen, and I'm paying attention and being productive at work, and the trash is getting put out with some modicum of regularity, seriously, f off if I want to spend a couple of hours doing intervals. I feel great about it.
All right, got to finish some stuff to get put out to bid - so I can take off and go ride.