When you experience that unique zone where everything fits together seamlessly, it's truly a fantastic feeling. The annual epiphany that I seem to experience is that the smallest and most inconsequential moments are actually the most meaningful and that the elephant sitting on your chest (work stress) is absolutely meaningless if not downright carcinogenic. Someone needs to remind me of this on a regular basis.
When I experienced that balanced feeling traversing the US with my cycling team decades ago, we naturally called it "bonus time". Dean Meyer coined the phrase but more importantly he defined it and would describe it whenever he felt appropriate (which was quite often). Reflecting back on our version of "bonus time" I realized that it was all about the little things - a tasty morsel, a burrito, shoes that feel perfect, laying on a patch of grass, getting ridiculously good mileage in our van, winning a row-sham- bow, winning a prime, catching a cat nap, scoring a comfortable bed at a host family home, loosing weight, new brake pads, finding a new road, clean laundry, having 500 bucks to your name, and returning home. These are all things that our flint carving ancestors who gifted us our DNA would be stoked on as well (minus the 500 bucks & gas mileage).
In the midst of our high maintenance existence, I often hear folks describe what I would categorize as a life out of balance (too busy, too tired, too stressed, too many things to do) and I am convinced that pedaling a bike which demands perfect balance is a natural remedy for this persistent affliction that we all invite into our life in some form or another. It doesn't matter if you're going for an all day boogie or just a cruise on the cliffs, what matters is that you get out there and let your natural equilibrium (which you're entitled to as a human) fall right into place.
Even though my travel racing days are long gone I feel so fortunate to have such a fantastic group of folks to enjoy miles of "bonus time" with. I look forward to another year of simple pedaling with you all.
Here are some of our favorite 'bonus time' activities (what are yours?):
- Dancing to Monsoon Wedding sound track
- Dancing to Cindy Lauper on vinyl with Olive
- Trivia night at 99
- Flea Market before 8am
- Bagelry after the Flea
- Getting to wash your hands before you eat your bagel after the Flea
- Giro lunch ride with EH
- Siting in the Col-de-sac with Fitz
- Outdoor fire pits
- reading AHTBM cover to cover
- Drinking root beer with the Gren in Pescadero
- 3 egg day from the hens
- hiking through the orange lichen at the Pinnacles with DP and family
- watching someone else ride your bike
- Dougie Fresh's pre-ride 'scoop on the boogie' phone call
- getting canceled to a call at 3:15am
- not getting a call at 3:15 am (super bonus)
- picking up your bike after Harry worked on it
Mama WÜleur and company enjoying perfect balance (Honey, Niobe, Wiggy, & Zephyr)