Yvon Chounard may not be Homer but he is a worthy modern day wise man, he admonished, don’t be a sports nazi. His meaning was, don’t do one sport to the exclusion of all others. It’s tempting not to pursue other sports when cycling demands so much time and leaves one with a body that is barely useful for anything else, but that would be too easy.
Admittedly, the concept of worshipping multiple deities has lost its popular following in the last few millennia. But we must reconcile theological doctrine with reality and bury the schisms that have caused sectarian strife for so long. The month of October is the perfect time to revisit the sacred teachings.
At first glance, you might call me an infidel upon learning that today, instead of devoting my whole day to worshipping The Bike, I plan to make equally sacred offerings to The Mountain. Indeed, the pile of bespoke cycling gear designated for today’s ride now has to share the same trunk space with ropes, cams, carabiners, and other studly accoutrements of the climbing craft. Upon learning this, many of you likely will condemn me a Rule #4 violator and ban me from La Vie Velominatus for life. But I beg you to hear my case before casting judgment.
In ancient Athens, for example, the good citizens understood that it was prudent to worship many gods; though the gods were fickle and jealous, they could bestow upon you great benefits. What really mattered was religious experience, spirituality, and sacrifice.
I assure you – all of these elements will be present in today’s outing and, as such, I am not heretic, but a true believer. Take for example, sacrifice. What greater sacrifice can there be than braving the desolate country roads of rural Virginia, with nary an espresso in sight, facing a near-rabid canine darting at me as I exhaustedly summit a roller? In the same vein, the path to our climbing routes planned for the afternoon takes us between Scylla and Charybdis – the dreaded “Poison Ivy Gully” descent or a rappel off manky tree anchors that could, at any moment, be messed with by meth tweakers frequenting the trail. I shall not even speak of the fact that we have to arrive at our destinations in a minivan, for no other mode of transport can accommodate the Hydra masking as our multi-sport gear collection.
The religious experience will be all worth it. There is little that compares to the hum of my overpriced drivetrain on a crisp October day or the cloud of climbing chalk following me like a halo as I flail like a stuck pig on a sandbag Great Falls eliminate. I thusly urge you to consider the wisdom of the ancients and erase differences between the gods. As far back as Homer, great thinkers recognized a unity in the multiplicity of the divine. Skiing season, here I come!