Big rides abound. My calendar fills. Weighing weekends, choosing battles and it doesnt even seem that spring has arrived yet. I have until Tuesday to have this fork delivered and installed or it is going to be one long ass day on a fixed gear bike on a gnarly ridge. Why do I do this to myself? Now I am going to forced to ride 16 hours on a bike that I have never even ridden. I guess that will be plenty of time to get things settled in and draw my own conclusions of the machine, or hang my head in shame, bailing out part way through because there is just no way to carry on. I like to suffer. There is a deep rooted hatred I have for myself and I long for those dark moments on the bike. The minutes where the legs barely turn, and with every revolution, quads quiver and cramp, but the ride carries on. I try to conceal the suffering, but the sweat on the upper lip begins boiling to surface. Forearms scream and sleeves retract in a feeble attempt to prevent the imminent meltdown. So long as someone suffers worse than I, all is well, but the knowledge of being the weak link is, in and of itself, almost enough of a mental strain to take me out of the game. But pride; that little voice in the back of my head tells me not to throw in the towel yet. And after another hour, or 2, or 5, it is my time. Others begin to fade, but this old motor plugs on. The group now works as one, all of the ego has long since been destroyed. Its just more time in the saddle, and those efforts needed to take a jab at another's pride are far too expensive now. Survival mode. Just keep moving. Keep throwing calories in the tank. Keep the system hydrated and cooled. It can go on for hours and hours like this. Into the dark, folks begin to unravel, but it is wasted energy. Nothing to do but keep moving toward the destination. Ladies and gentlemen, ridin time is here!