The Chronicles of Moynihan: The unsolicited chronicle.
Welcome back to the chronicles of my life. Thanks to this “blog”, my life is now much like Kim Kardashian’s life, in that, it’s not interesting enough to read about yet some people still do. Obviously there are some notable exceptions though, mainly that I’m not famous and that I’m not, more or less, when you break it down, and apply the dictionary definition…a prostitute.
Take that celebrity culture.
Obviously the last post I wrote was a funny anecdote and people seemed to really enjoy that. Unfortunately, nothing even remotely interesting has happened to me since my last post. Now I realise that you are trying to procrastinate from whatever it is you are supposed to be doing with the internet and that one paragraph calling Kim Kardashian a prostitute is nothing you can’t get via social networking and isn’t going to assist your time wasting cause to any significant degree. So I will continue “blogging” (I can’t write the word “blog” when it refers to me without quotation marks, otherwise it looks like I’m bestowing myself a title, that’s not my style).
So obviously I am very grateful to anyone who reads my cycling related ramblings and I would like to reward them with something different. By “something different” I mean something that can’t be found on other cycling blogs. It’s kindof like that episode of South Park where they are trying to create an original storyline but every one they come up with has already been done by the Simpsons, “Simpsons did it”. There are cycling blogs for every aspect and niche of cycling, so I’m going to “blog” about blogs. Yes, it’s blogception, a blog within a blog sort-of thing. I hear you’re all “you can’t do that, you’ll tear a hole in the space-time continuum”…JUST WATCH ME! Of course, if you didn’t think that and just thought “this sounds really boring”, feel free to return to facebook for updates on what exercise people have been doing and instagram pictures of sunrises and food.
I knew you would come back, let’s proceed…Quick sidenote, in a few paragraphs time you will get some actual subject material but I couldn’t resist the novelty of “blogception” and it does somewhat inform my primary argument.
So, cycling blogs, so many, and about everything. You can head over to inring and read an endless stream of articles about the UCI points system, or to cyclingtips and read about how fantastic cycling is in Victoria, you can read blogs praising Lance Armstrong (probably not so much now, but if you head through the archives it embarrassing), you can read blogs bashing Lance Armstrong, you can read blogs on doping, being a pro-cyclist, being a semi-procyclist, equipment, how to ride, how not to ride, the list is just insane (inane?). Through my research I estimate that the majority of cycling blogs are written by people who are fans. Probably racing (although some clearly not), maybe even at a high, level but mostly not professional cyclists.
Ok, so, there are an unreasonable number of cycling blogs on an unbelievable number of topics, most of which are fuelled by fans, who, for the most part also work to earn a wage by doing something other than riding a bike. But also, the people reading these blog posts (I’m just guessing, this is all just guess work based on my logic and common sense, if you don’t like it or disagree, that’s fine) work to earn a wage by doing something other than cycling.
So, if you are still with me, I’m going to get to the real meaty part of this “blog”, the part which is the subject I initially wanted to write about, suggested to me by Matt Miller of MMCT fame. CYCLING. AND. WORK.
Alternatively if you have not been with me through this whole “blog” and you left a second time to check all the shit you survived for years without on facebook, welcome back and don’t leave again. I value your readership but I also feel that you should stick with your convictions (i.e. read my bullshit in one go like a true strength-endurance athlete).
Ok so we have like, a few hundred professional cyclists, riding around for approximately 10 months of the year. Then we have hundreds of thousands (millions?) of fans giving up their hard earned free time and money to enjoy the sport in a variety of recreational capacities and to read (or write about) every minor aspect of said sport…Why?
It was a few months ago that MMCT said to me, mid cruise “you should write an article about cycling and work”. Between then and now I have thought about this a great, great deal. Here are my thoughts.
Referring to my previous question, why are all these people investing so much time, resources and energy into something that gives them so little, if any, material reward? To answer this question I will again, backtrack slightly (sorry). Let us review the media that is given to us by professional cyclists. Whether it be via books or interviews or film, it often refers to how hard professional cycling is. Professional cycling is portrayed to the fan-masses as being a brutal pursuit, endless kilometres and hours of training, bloodthirsty racing over all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of weather. Cyclists talk about how they suffer up mountains, after crashes, I even read one interview where a rider said he cried during a race. Even Lance Armstrong, the walking/talking pharmaceutical storage unit writes about how hard cycling is, and he’s basically super-mario after getting a gold invincibility star. It has also been purported by a number of professional athletes that massive amounts of performance enhancing substances are necessary to survive the strains of the sport.
Ok…So…Quick recap, we have a bunch of athletes who are partaking in an endeavour more painful than doing the worm on the sun and on the other hand, hundreds of thousands of people who work day jobs in air conditioned offices (or not, but it’s what I do) able to have hobbies and eat shit food (also me) and take holidays when they so choose. Why does group B (office worker), follow the exploits of group A (athletes) so vigorously? If group B was solely a group of voyeurs with a suffering fetish then we would see far more news about the horrific status quo of death and violence that is maintained in most of Africa. I think it’s pretty logical to conclude, that group B, wants to be group A.
However, I feel it’s a fairly well accepted fact about humans that they don’t crave a lifestyle more difficult than their current one; economics wouldn’t really function if we did. Therefore, if the air-conditioned office workers of group B want to be the perpetually suffering athletes of group A, I think we can conclude that WORK is more difficult than CYCLING.
Again, I’m going to interrupt myself to say that I know cycling is very hard, brutal even, I actually sometimes enjoy my desk-job and I do enjoy the lifestyle it provides me. This “blog” is mostly for entertainment purposes and I have completely and purposely ignored important facts that make cycling enjoyable (e.g. the friends, the excitement, the things you see etc…). Please don’t hate me pro-cyclists, I love you?
There is no doubt that it’s hard to race up mountains and across cobble stones for days, but there is also no doubt that having a full time job and racing at a moderate to high level is also extremely hard. If you add kids or study to this mix it is brutal. It creates a routine that Sisyphus himself would have struggled with.
But perhaps the story of Sisyphus provides insight into why the hundreds of thousands of group B follow, and enjoy following, group A. Yes, work and life’s challenges are hard, but at the end of the day, when you have rolled the stone to the top of the hill, you can go for a ride and be free and have fun and achieve something that is purely your own or be on the edge of your seat to watch cycling gladiators do battle. Also, you can share all these experiences with like minded fans. Boom, how good is that.
If you are still here and haven’t realised that intragram-ed lunches were in-fact the more exciting choice for procrastination, thankyou and here is the finale.
Obviously I am using a mix of half-truths and pseudo logic to construct my argument here and in all likely-hood pro-cyclists are hard, hard, hard men who suffer far more than we ever will in our day jobs, I don’t think anyone would deny this. But neither do I think you can deny that cycling each morning then going for a full day at work, then coming home to whatever other commitments you have, be they domestic, relationship or children, is also very hard. So much credit should be given to the proletariat local club racer, the fanboy who keeps pro-cycling alive and whose achievements on the bike, while insignificant on paper, are monumental when viewed with perspective.
7 years ago / No Comments