Still crazy after all these years

I fear I’ll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years

-Paul Simon, Still crazy after all these years

16 years ago, while mountain biking on slushy Massachusetts February day, on the trails I met one of the most intense athletes, and astonishing persons I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Evan and I were both happy-go-lucky kids just discovering serious cycling, and discovering who we really were. He is my “brother-by-another-mother” and we have gone through a lot over the years.

He stopped into Salt Lake yesterday evening, and this morning, per tradition, we went for one of our usual mountain bike death-marches.

Here is Evan, cresting a climb. You can see rain moving through the valley in the background. Click on the pic for a bigger version.

He is going slow enough while climbing, a camera can actually focus. Trying to take pictures of him as he rides downhill is like trying to photograph an artillery shell whizzing by. Evan rides downhill singletrack with lean angles like a short track speedskater (that is no exaggeration). Chasing him today at velocities approaching ludicrous speed, I ripped dozens of knobs off my rear tire sliding through turns, and I still couldn’t catch him.

I have spent so much time in the gym recently, or bounding/hopping doing skate training but never really going anywhere. Even training at the Utah Olympic speedskating Oval, it sometimes feels like a frozen hamster wheel for lycra covered mammals with knives on their feet.

It takes that best kind of old friends, the most ferocious of old training partners, to pull one out of a rut.

Evan has two kids, a smattering of grey, his own business; we are both married, both with careers, but put us on bikes, and we are whoopin’, hollerin’, muddy nutcake crazy teenagers again!

Wiser, greyer, happier, more in touch with who we are, but still crazy after all these years!

8 Responses to “Still crazy after all these years”

  1. I can tell he’s Hardcore by that macho Shortbar config
    Greg

  2. That is an awsome hill!

    What a nice back yard you have!

    JD

  3. this trail is about a mile up the road from where I live (a mile “up” being the accurate description)

    the view is pretty amazing…

  4. To some extent, nobody really changes just because they get older. Many people lose some nerve, or learn from experience, or accrue many layers of protection or pretense over their original selves. With some, and I like to think we’re both of this group, who we are, and what we want and believe in, is basically the same at 30, 50, 80 as it is at 8 years old. Sometimes we wander away from it for a while then get more truly back to it again.

    I find it’s a good thing to keep this in mind when dealing with people older than myself. OK, and i;ve gotten to where i sometime want to point it out, even a bit sharply, to some of those younger! (Not you, Andrew. :) You seem to have kept the candid, even disconcerting, gaze of a 5-year-old, and see right through both age and pretenses.)

    Sometimes it’s an effort to stay crazy; I don’t think that’ll ever be the case for you. Or, apparently, for Evan.

  5. “….,it sometimes feels like a frozen hamster wheel for
    Now THAT’s some creative illiteration.

    I swear this sounds like a lyric from Springsteen’s “Blinded By The Light” or something similar…

    …”lycra covered mammals with knives on their feet…”

  6. I’ve mountain biked with Evan probably a half-dozen times, but I’ve never seen him desend. I think that happens because we get about 5 feet down the trail and he’s somehow 10 feet in front of me and gone. I tell myself it’s my bigger center of gravity, but I think I’m just fooling myself.

    I think you need to post the pic of you and Evan on that early (possibly 1st?) ride. You know the one. You in the sweats and Evan in his hat.

    Or maybe even get the Helment cam footage!!!

    I think your Bachelor party deserves a blog post, don’t you?

  7. What happens at the bachelor party stays at the bachelor party, David :)

    Muchas gracias, Andrew for escorting Evan on this mtn bike excursion. It is indeed much tougher to “stay crazy” with a two preschoolers in the house.

    Do we change over the years? I thik so. I hope so. There’s a fundamental shift that happens when you become a parent. You can’t have your priorities change so drastically without some sort of undercurrent of fundamental change. And I’m glad for it. The self-centered me who lived from 1971 to 2001 would make a terrible parent!

    p.s. I think you should post one of the other pictures you sent to me, just to prove that one thing that hasn’t changed about Evan is the presence of, well, weird calf muscles ;)

  8. Andrew!!! I knew you when and I swear you did not look like that!! … did you?

    I arrive in CO on Tuesday and leave the 3rd of July — will be up in Aspen working the 25th - 29th.

    Am in FL now. Hello to Jess!
    Bec

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