Every time I open Facebook or my feed-reader and find one of those links, I think, "Ooo, pretty pictures of fun stuff," and my finger clicks before I know it... like the proverbial lab rat.
Suddenly, I'm immersed in the quest of some scraggly dude I never heard of, pedaling across Mongolia eating only native plants. (Some other scraggly dude crossed Mongolia last year with a bag-full of Clif Bars, and, like, carrying food is so 20th century.) There's a long shot of him proceeding at an ant's pace over a dirt road stretching to the infiinite horizon over the barren steppes. The frigid sun glints off the camera lens. Sparse guitar licks echo with loneliness.
The guy must be some kind of monk, or insane asylum escapee. What a hero! Extreme privation! YES!
I start wondering if I could close my business for a couple months, beg off from family duties, stuff some home-grown vegetables and a flask of well-water into my handlebar bag, and ride straight to Hudson Bay.
Maybe I could stay a couple months up there, just long enough to see the Northern Lights. Just me. Yeah, that sounds perfect. Well -- I'd take my solar iPhone charger, of course. I mean, I gotta make an edit, dude; the sponsors ain't gonna pay me just to dive head-first off the grid, and besides, I have to show off my new 30-gram tripod and iOS 7 editing suite, and seriously? I'll need something to do on those 18-hour summer days.
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Yet what I say is, we are the heroes. The middle-of-the-roaders, who who force ourselves to actually finish the dishes, get little Emma to and from her soccer game, hand in that work assignment—so we can leave for our ride (now shortened from two hours to one) unburdened by nagging guilt. We are the ones who ride through pain and nasty weather, not because we're paid to, but because it matters so crazy much to us.
It's time that we normals, who keep the bike industry rolling, become the laureates in the beautiful videos, the stunning advertising photos, and the industry Web sites.
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