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  1. #1
    High Desert MTBer
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    Smell the Roses in the Church Of Chunk...

    I know this is verging on a 'bike' thread, but that is not what I am thinking here. I just wanted to extol the virtues of taking the time to really enjoy getting out in the wilds on your bike, and not worrying about whether the next guy is better or worse a rider than you. ( This may be another 'Strava Douche' thread)...

    In my 60 summers and 56 winters breathing this planet's air, (I spent '89 and '90 chasing summer around the globe with lovable hoodlum reggae artists UB40), I have been no stranger to competitive sports. I was in all the sports teams at school: rugby, soccer, cricket, long-distance running etc. I played rugby for one of the better clubs in the UK in my youth there, and in the early 90s I spent some time training and racing in a national MTB series in the UK, with pretty crap results, but all the pain. I have ridden bicycles for over 50 years, and most of that riding has been off road.

    What I have learned from all of this is that the competitive streak is pointless. I see no reason for it, and all those who want to be better than the next guy are, in my opinion, misguided. This includes those who strive to beat complete strangers on the Strava merry-go-round, and those who race competitively. Sure, sometimes it is good to pit yourself against the next guy to see how you are doing in the grand scheme of things, but unless you have the ability to earn a living doing it, or give pleasure to others with your mad skills, I see no real lasting point.

    Many will say that this competitive streak is pure human nature, but I believe it is just a part of human nature, and not a very attractive one at that. Competition has led to some very unattractive results, and I am not just talking about Lance's shenanigans. Competition is ego-driven, and closely allied with other undesirable traits such as greed, pride, and even cruelty.

    Personally, I enjoy setting myself small goals that I try to make happen so I can enjoy my riding more: can I find that line thru the rock cascade down the Wild Mustang trail and keep to it; can I maintain the peace of mind necessary to grind thru the uphill chunk of the Upper Javelina switchbacks without dabbing too much; can I launch these old bones off drops without flaking out and piling it up painfully; can I keep momentum smoothly thru the chunk on the way down, not necessarily that quickly, but smoothly and still with gusto!... all these little things go together to make up the enjoyable whole. When I set out on a ride, I do not tell myself I have to make it to the top of Wild Burro in 42 minutes, but I tell my self to relax and enjoy the scenery, and I will probably end up making it there in less time...

    I used to train in the UK with some Team GB cyclists that I introduced to MTBing, and they ended up in the World Cup MTB team. That was fun at the start, but ended up being more pain with a gain that, with hindsight, was not that gainful. Sure I got fit, but if I am honest, it was not that enjoyable! Now if I ride with others, it is one or a bunch of friends and we just have a laugh. There ain't no racing involved...

    I enjoy keeping fit and healthy, I love the scenery, and I love riding my bike in that scenery, as much and as mindfully as I can...
    It's all Here. Now.

  2. #2
    Front Range, Colorado
    Reputation: DIRTJUNKIE's Avatar
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    QUOTE: RockerC "I enjoy keeping fit and healthy, I love the scenery, and I love riding my bike in that scenery...

    My philosophy exactly.
    ----------- __o
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqpcBpSsj1A

  3. #3
    duh
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    I like to bunny hop little kids stopped on the trail
    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    You guys have reached for a new low.

  4. #4
    High Desert MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    I like to bunny hop little kids stopped on the trail
    For me it's tortoises, they are vicious brutes here...

    I forgot to mention, sometimes I might even stop and pee on the side of the trail!!!
    It's all Here. Now.

  5. #5
    thread crapper
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    I like to bunny hop little kids stopped on the trail
    Only if they're vaccinated though, right?

  6. #6
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    For me it's tortoises, they are vicious brutes here...

    I forgot to mention, sometimes I might even stop and pee on the side of the trail!!!
    I hope TurtleHawg doesn't see that post. After all the tortoises are his kin and he can get vicious protecting their honor.EEKSTER!
    ----------- __o
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    BRAAP(>)/ (*)
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqpcBpSsj1A

  7. #7
    duh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shytie View Post
    Only if they're vaccinated though, right?
    nah it is while The trail side doc does the vaccine.
    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    You guys have reached for a new low.

  8. #8
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    nah it is while The trail side doc does the vaccine.
    And your negging him the whole time.
    ----------- __o
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    ************^^^^^^Rock Garden
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  9. #9
    human dehumidifier
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    What I have learned from all of this is that the competitive streak is pointless. I see no reason for it, and all those who want to be better than the next guy are, in my opinion, misguided. This includes those who strive to beat complete strangers on the Strava merry-go-round, and those who race competitively. Sure, sometimes it is good to pit yourself against the next guy to see how you are doing in the grand scheme of things, but unless you have the ability to earn a living doing it, or give pleasure to others with your mad skills, I see no real lasting point.
    If that was less well-written it'd be just like something I'd say.

    I used to golf without keeping score. Drove people crazy, it did.
    But if you close your eyes it becomes so easy to see

  10. #10
    dru
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    Part of the competitive streak is sado-masochism. Suffer by training really hard so you can inflict pain on your riding buddies.

    I'm just happy to go on a nice two hour ride when I can find the time. When and if I get fitness back from riding more is another issue.

    Notice I never mentioned the word '*ike' like that damn long haired guy......

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  11. #11
    High Desert MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    Part of the competitive streak is sado-masochism. Suffer by training really hard so you can inflict pain on your riding buddies.

    I'm just happy to go on a nice two hour ride when I can find the time. When and if I get fitness back from riding more is another issue.

    Notice I never mentioned the word '*ike' like that damn long haired guy......

    Drew
    Interesting take... maybe I should have tried riding in my assless chaps?!? And BTW, my hair is not so much long as unkempt... and I meant to say Like, not *ike... darn typos.
    It's all Here. Now.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    What I have learned from all of this is that the competitive streak is pointless. I see no reason for it, and all those who want to be better than the next guy are, in my opinion, misguided.
    Well written post, but i have to disagree with the idea that competitiveness is pointless and misguided.

    First and foremost, for many the very act of competing is more important than the outcome. This has nothing to do with gaining anything after the fact, but more a matter of having fun while DOING. I would rather sprint the last few miles of a ride and lose to my friend than ride solo with no desire to push my self. Some of the very examples you use of just enjoying riding involve competing with your self. If you truly dont care, why would cleaning horse thief even matter? Win lose or draw, competing will make you strive to be better at near any activity.

    Second, perhaps it is linked to greed, pride, and even cruelty. However, if it was not for competition we would still be hunter gatherers. Almost every advance of mankind has been driven by competition of some form or another. While it can certainly be said that the world is worse for the advances of the human race, what can not be said is that competition is pointless.

  13. #13
    High Desert MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    Well written post, but i have to disagree with the idea that competitiveness is pointless and misguided.

    First and foremost, for many the very act of competing is more important than the outcome. This has nothing to do with gaining anything after the fact, but more a matter of having fun while DOING. I would rather sprint the last few miles of a ride and lose to my friend than ride solo with no desire to push my self. Some of the very examples you use of just enjoying riding involve competing with your self. If you truly dont care, why would cleaning horse thief even matter? Win lose or draw, competing will make you strive to be better at near any activity.

    Second, perhaps it is linked to greed, pride, and even cruelty. However, if it was not for competition we would still be hunter gatherers. Almost every advance of mankind has been driven by competition of some form or another. While it can certainly be said that the world is worse for the advances of the human race, what can not be said is that competition is pointless.
    You are actually pretty much agreeing with me here. Perhaps I was a little strong in my statement that the competitive streak is pointless, some might not see what it is I am really saying. What I meant to say was that the urge to win is pointless. The act of competing in itself is not necessarily a bad thing; as you say, sometimes just getting out with a bunch of people for a hammer round in a race is fun no matter the outcome. That is not what I am talking about. That is more like a ride with friends. When I am 'competing' with myself, I am not trying to win against myself, I am trying to improve my riding so I can go more places and not hurt myself too much! Also I do enjoy cleaning something I have not done before, not to be better than the next person, but because it is fun.

    When you say that if not for competition we would still be hunter-gatherers, I disagree. We stopped being that when communities started to work together as cohesive groups in a more agriculture based system. There is not a lot of competition in that.

    I also disagree that competition has driven almost every advance in human achievement. Certainly this is so in some instances, but mostly not in my opinion: Edison took an existing technology and made it better so his company could put one over on the competition and make a profit. The fact is, the technology was there, and altho he was credited for the invention, the invention had already been made. It just took his application to accelerate the process: greed driven. That is just one example of many. I do believe that the majority of scientific advances are made by people who are genuinely interested in finding out ****, and making dreams become reality. Those who would gain from these more pure inventions are the accelerators rather than the innovators.
    It's all Here. Now.

  14. #14
    check your six
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    I couldn't agree more Rocker.. Great post..
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

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