Wednesday, May 16, 2001
It's been pure torture coming up with a new column for DirtWorld. I thought to myself it has to be thought provoking, awe-inspiring and, of-course, Pulitzer material.
After weeks of false starts, rejected notes scribbled on cocktail napkins and full stories given their "politically correct" burial in the recycling bin, it dawned on me. A fantastic story idea? Hell no, I couldn't be so lucky. What occurred to me was that during this week and a half of agonizing over my column, I hadn't been on my bike. Of course! Riding my bike would clear my mind of all the impure thoughts implanted by corporate America and unleash unbridled creativity.
It was a cold gray day, but fortunately there wasn't even one drop of rain. (See it doesn't rain ALL the time in Seattle.) My schedule didn't allow me to drive out to one of my favorite winter trails so I just threw on my cold-weather garb and hit the streets of Seattle.
|"Every pedal stroke was bringing more thoughts, deeper thoughts, the story was writing itself."|
Ten miles of stairs, residential streets and neighborhood parks - still no ideas. 20 miles - found some cool "undiscovered" streets with spectacular views and the world's shortest singletrack. Still no ideas so I headed downtown.
Mile 24 - an epiphany. My god, a story idea! I reached into my pack and......What?....No pencil? No paper? in my haste to get out and ride, I overlooked the sole purpose of this ride. No problem, I'm only 20 miles from home. I'll just race back and write it all down. So I did a 180 and headed back at an amazingly brisk pace.
Every pedal stroke was bringing more thoughts, deeper thoughts, the story was writing itself. The ideas were flowing faster than the sweat down my overheated forehead. I was on a roll........"Must get......Pencil!"
Only six more miles to go. This was great! By now I had half the story written in my head. Now five to go. My legs are on fire now from my masochistic pace. All I have to do is survive the last five miles seemingly straight up hill.
Three miles - the burning in my legs is getting worse. My blistering pace has now slowed to a mere crawl and I've been reduced to using yes, my granny gear. The ideas are no longer flowing. I am entirely too aware of the brutal climb still remaining.
Home - finally. I made it! I'll just throw my bike in the garage and then go put my award winning story down on paper.
Ah.......Paper, pencil.......Now what was my idea?