Friday, September 14, 2012

FHHR Hat Trick (or "Blood Sweat and Tears on the Double Bonus Loop")

It has been a punishing couple of months at work. The sort of stuff that, if you're not careful, can take a real toll on you over time. It sounds silly, but the Friday Happy Hour Rides (FHHR) have been instrumental in helping me put the work week behind me and carve out a few days to relax with my family and start the next week re-energized. The FHHR is a magical concoction of blood sweat and tears:
  • Sweat - take the tension from a long workweek and HAMMER it completely out of your body with your bike and miles of wooded singletrack. This is the one physical activity where I can completely commit myself physically and come home utterly exhausted and drenched in sweat and endorphins.
  • Blood - occasionally one of the group will get a little banged up. Nothing life altering, just a little mud and blood. If you're lucky it will be you. If you're really lucky it will be the guy in front of you. It jars you out of your day-to-day and reminds you that you're alive. If it's the guy in front of you, it's a reminder it could (and eventually will) be you.
Tangent: How does getting banged up make you feel alive? Well, that scraped shin or sore knee that starts throbbing during the noontime conference call is a tangible reminder of the adventure had - the fresh air, the speed, the laughs, the risk that you took, the high that you had just a few hours or days before. It's a daily reminder that you sometimes live outside the comfort zone of day-to-day life, in a place where shit happens to you. Stuff happening. That's living. That's alive.
  • Tears - of laughter. At The Overlook on a Friday afternoon there is nothing but your fellow bikers, some dirty bikes, a beautiful view, a warm beer or two and lots of great stories and laughter. Nothing heavy. We're twelve years old again. Riding bikes and carrying on in the woods. 
During the Friday ride, this concoction helps us switch gears from the workweek to the weekend. It happens subconsciously. We don't know it's happening. All we know when we saddle up at 5:00pm is that we'll return home in a couple of hours exhausted and energized, with the workweek fading in the rearview mirror and a full weekend of family, relaxation, and maybe some more adventure stretching out in front of us.

This week's FHHR installment was particularly notable for:
  • The un-frickin' believable weather. Yes this is truly the best riding time of year. 
  • Picking up a walk-on FHHR player. We will see if Mike becomes a regular (that would make three Mikes in the group of regulars, I am feeling outnumbered). 
  • Our emerging Object D'Art at The Overlook (according to Wikipedia an Object D'Art is "a work of art with some artistic merit. An artwork exhibited for the purposes of decoration or the reflection of social status"). This week Mark added a performance element when he did his imitation of "a monkey using a tool" to make his contribution.  We also instituted a "no repeat rule" to the performance art elements which elevates this from an Object D'Art to an outright competition. 
And if a walk-on and an installment of competitive performance art isn't enough, we were also treated to a reset of the crash counter on the hard charging return leg when Mark tried to bunny hop an 18" log pile at full speed (On most days a prudent rider would slow down just a little before hitting that log pile. This wasn't most days). We already had the sweat and tears in the bag. Now we had the blood... 

...which made today's FHHR a bonified Hat Trick. A FHHR Triple Crown!


"They say money can't buy happiness. But it can buy bikes and beer."
     - ecards

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