It was a Tuesday when I realized I was a spoiled asshole. Maybe a Wednesday. The exact day isn’t important, except that it was a weekday, mid-afternoon. The time of day that most adults are filing their TPS reports or finishing custom cabinets or selling skinny jeans in the mall…working is what most adults are doing on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon and I was riding my bike. I was riding my bike on an incredibly beautiful and challenging mountain on the edge of downtown that’s maybe five minutes from my house. It’s sleepy roads twist through trees and small waterfalls and the occasional ultra-modern mansion hanging over the edge of the mountain. There are great views of downtown from this mountain. Anyway, I was riding my road bike, climbing a solid 1,000 feet in under two miles to the top of the mountain, and just as I reached the crest, it started to rain. And I started to curse. I hate riding my road bike in the rain. The tires are so skinny, the pavement so slick. In my head, I started a constant monologue about how my ride was ruined because I was on the wrong bike. Why didn’t I ride the cross bike? Or the cross country mountain bike? I ended up on a gravel road connector that had some washboard sections and I double-downed on my indignation—“I brought the wrong damn bike! My ride is ruined.”
I started making a bee-line for home, because I was done with it. I didn’t want to waste anymore time on this ruined ride. Stupid rain. Stupid road bike. I was half way down the mountain, squeezing the hell out of my brakes to keep my speed in check, when I realized I was being an entitled prick. Here I was riding my bike on a god damn Tuesday (or Wednesday) afternoon, when the rest of the country is knocking away at our GDP; riding my bike on a beautiful mountain when every single kid I grew up with was sitting in an office or job site, and I was bitching because the conditions weren’t perfect. Because my bike’s tires didn’t have the requisite traction.
I have a predilection for entitled prickishness. It’s a character flaw. You should see me lose my shit when the automatic doors on my minivan won’t work for some reason, and I actually have to use a handle. Like an animal. Same with beer. If I have buyer’s remorse, wishing I ordered the IPA instead of the Pale, or if I feel like a beer is subpar for any reason…I get livid. What’s the point if the beer you’re drinking isn’t the best? If it’s not a peak beer experience, why even bother?
It’s something I’m working on, and the rainy, week day bike ride was an eye opening moment. Once I stepped back and took a look at my situation with some perspective (I’m 40, riding a really nice bike, on a really nice mountain, on a Tuesday. Or Wednesday), I was able to enjoy the ride again. I took a left and headed back up the mountain, in the rain, on the wrong bike, with a smile on my face.