I've been off the bike a month or so now, and I gotta tell you, I'm pretty jack of it. As strange as this may seem, I'm totally missing killing myself out on the road, battling to keep my heart rate at the same number of beats per minutes for hours at a time. Or destroying myself on the ergo, sweating out a stink in the end room that will linger for days to come. Or smashing it on the track, chasing some kid literally half my age until I pop. Hell, I'm even starting to miss the gym, which I only ever did to improve my cycling, but which I came to love - in time. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Endorphins are a hell of a drug.
So far I've somehow resisted becoming more competitive in everyday life (my then housemate Leith was quite relieved when I first started cycling, as it meant that he was less often challenged to see "who could make it from one side of the lounge room to the other without touching the ground", or "who could eat 100 vegetarian noodles from Camy's Shanghai Noodle House"). I haven't been getting angry at random members of the public, and nor have I threatened to put any of my students in the gutter if they drop the wheel.
What is different is that now when people tell me that they haven't had time to train, or that they're having some time off, or that they're not really into cycling any more, I'm considerably less sympathetic than I previously was. I know this isn't fair, and I'm kind of a jerk for even thinking it. But right now, if I could ride my bike without ruining myself for days afterwards, I would. And when other people are physically capable of doing it, but choose not to, it drives me nuts. I want them to hand that capability over to me. Just for a couple of years or so, while they're spending their time wandering from country to country, or falling over drunk, or working, or whatever they want to do instead of cycling. I'd train that capability right, look after it with healthy food and ample sleep, and make sure it felt appreciated, all day, every day.
But they can't.
Which, you know, sucks.
Here's another clip from the Milemarker set at Michiganfest in 2002. The Hot Snakes also played that show, and The Constantines. Man, that show would've ruled.