When I first began cycling I used to set myself a goal each year; something challenging and painful against which I could calibrate my sense of self-worth.
Something where the measure of success was black and white, so we all know where we stand.
Did I reappear at the office the following Monday morning, bedraggled perhaps, but with a pulse?
Then yes, colleagues and co-workers, I have successfully completed my arbitrary challenge.
I can confirm that I am measuring up to the required vison of manhood, and I will raise the bar accordingly next year.
Alternatively my desk remains empty and a murmur goes around the office:
“Is he even due in today…did he mention something about a thing he was doing…why does he have to wear those tight shorts anyway?”
By Wednesday it’s assumed the ‘thing’ has won, and everyone is getting on with their lives.
Which is fair enough.
Logic suggests that I will, at some point, expire on my bike.
Each challenge either finishes me off or causes me to raise the bar. Ten years from now I will be pulled, exhausted, from a Norwegian fjord whilst attempting to complete a lap of Scandinavia in 72 hours.
Just another unemployed divorcee who’s cycled himself into a state of disrepair.
Which reminds me of a regular riding partner of mine, who was musing recently on how he’d like to finally shuffle off this mortal coil.
For non-cyclists, this question has a number of stock answers. I find a quick Google search acts as a kind of straw-poll when it comes to these universal questions of life (and death).
So take your pick from:
- Dying in your sleep
- Dying of laughter
- Dying heroically
- Death by chocolate
- Night of a hundred Red Bulls
None of these methods quite hit the spot for my bike obsessed friend. He is determined, when the moment is right, to ‘turbo’ himself to death.
Not for him a sweet and peaceful release. He’ll be clipped in to his home bike trainer and pedalling himself into a sweaty (and presumably very tedious) abyss.
Whether he will be doing this live on Zwift is not yet clear. Certainly if he logged it on Strava he’d be getting a big fat ‘Kudos’ from me.
It would be worth it just for the combined eye-roll in the office on the Monday morning.
“Where’s what’s ‘is name…you know, the cycling fella?” someone would ask.
“Turbo’ed himself to death,” I’d reply.
“Oh right…so who’s turn is it to brew up then?”