Saturday, May 23, 2015

Call Me What You Will

Stubborn, tenacious, determined, headstrong, steadfast, or single minded.  I've heard them all before, I'm sure I'll hear them many times again.  Essentially, once I get a little seed or worm in my mind, I can rarely shake it.  Oh sure, I have learned to bend and drop things in my old(er) age, and I try my best not to let this behavior affect others, but when it comes cycling or travel, and I get fixated on something, I usually have to follow it through.

Today was no different.  I had it in mind to hit the IL border via the H8TR trail and by god I was going to do it.  I didn't feel all that strong, and when the crew I was riding with thought about bagging the final eight miles, I'll be honest, I thought about it too but instead I chose to go it alone and meet up with them again in Monroe.  So as not to make them wait too long, I picked up my pace--hoping this wouldn't come back to bite me in the long run--and did my best not to hit the kamikaze chipmunks choosing to hang out in the line of my tires. 

On my way back I ran into one of my crew who decided to do the same thing.  He almost turned back with me, but when he found out the border was only 1.5 miles away, he kept going.  I laughed to myself thinking "glad I'm not the only one to act this way". 

So here's what went through my head on the way back to Monroe (besides all the beer I was going to drink at the brewery):  Would it have killed me to not complete the ride I had in mind?, Isn't it more important to hang out with friends vs. complete a stupid goal which really means nothing?,  What did accomplishing this give me? 

Okay, so these questions weren't really all that important for this ride seeing we all joined up in one hour, but it really makes me think about longer trips with others or possible expeditions I may choose to do in the future.  Am I best doing these things alone (most of my more challenging wilderness trips and long road trips were done solo)?  Do I make a terrible travel partner for others because I feel the need to see things through?  I have both some longer bike tours I really want to do in the next few years as well as some extensive trips abroad.  I really need to figure out how to either drop some of my expectations (these only apply to me mind you, not my friends I'm doing things with) if needed or just be okay going it alone. 

No amount of beer and vile green malt liquor gave me answers.  Hopefully time will.

John "flying" back from the border

This, I think, is more important than just reaching a goal

My angel of death with beer

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