I recently managed to ram two race reports into a single post, mainly driven by laziness and audience exhaustion, but today, very much by design, I’m going to jam two milestones into a single story. Don’t worry, I will still be lazy about it, but this is no ordinary week and as it turns out, anniversary planets have aligned.
First up, Dirty Nomad turns 5 this week, (the blog, not me – But it would be an easy mistake to make) which makes it an abusive snotty nosed little fucker that you feel compelled to slap when it’s parents aren’t looking. Yes, 5 years of missions and experiences all funded through our $0.00 Ad revenue line. I didn’t really expect to still be pecking away at the keyboard like a zombie chicken 5 years later, and while I’ve dropped from 30 posts a month (yes, what the fuck? How did anyone have the time or material?) to a single rant, I’d like to think this blog still represents the niche set of riders & readers it’s intentioned for.
If that wasn’t enough on the milestone front, I also decided to slip into my 4th decade and legitimately make myself a Masters racer, not that it gives me much comfort to be honest based on my current form and the fact that Masters is actually the ultimate cycling shark tank. It feels symmetrical that I turn 40 at the same time the Dirty Blog turns 5, given the bulk of my thought processes and behaviour reflect the latter.
Originally I had planned some colourful and philosophical diatribe which would harness the 5 years of experiences to deliver you something profound to the point you’d wonder if it was straying into Pulitzer winning territory, even if that’s not possible for a blog. Alas, ‘life’ teamed up with a distinct lack of hours in the day to sabotage any such efforts, so you’ll have to instead be subjected to me regurgitating shit. A timely reminder that no one comes here for the meaning of life.
If there’s one thing I hate more than the Shimano consumer supply chain, it’s cliche’s, which made it very hard to write anything profound, as every time I attempted to do so, it eventually arrived at a cliche like “The grass is always greener“, so fuck all that, here are a few things to ponder instead, based on what I’ve learnt or been reminded of over this half decade of Dirty ranting:
Authenticity – From time to time I have to walk into corporate office buildings modelled on the Matrix sets and interact with Humans who are very intent on being the opposite of authentic, which is always as weird as it is cunty. Aside from being disappointing and unnecessary, this is a round about way of saying “Keeping it real” should always be a priority.
Thankfully in cycling, apart from Team Sky, we’re blessed with mainly authentic units. My Twitter feed reminds me hourly that the creeping dystopia is filled with cunts who practice extreme hypocrisy or are allergic to the truth, so the best thing we can all do is keep the authenticity strong. Not being ‘you’ is also the path to fuckbaggery, so worth considering… And avoiding!
Good cunts – Some times it feels these are an endangered species, but luckily for us as cyclists we’re still disproportionately stacked with GC’s compared to the wider Gen Pop. Don’t look this rad cunt gift horse in the mouth, make sure you keep in touch, make an effort to plan the next adventure and keep rolling with your crew as often as one can. Having moved to quite literally the middle of nowhere, I can attest to the fact that while solo miles can be good from time to time, nothing beats heading out with the #GCcrew:
Life is ultimately about experiences – I’m the first one to turn into a mindless credit card fuck zombie when a new Santa Cruz bike drops, or the latest XTR invades my Gram feed, so I cast this stone knowing full well that Mi Casa is constructed of ornate and fragile glass. BUT, at the end of the day, you won’t look back fondly on how many cars you have in your garage, how many jet ski’s that sit regretfully in your driveway or how many pairs of dubiously styled shoes sit in your cupboard – but you will more than likely be quite stoked about all the rad adventures you went on instead.
Fuck keeping up with anyone in society – Unless they’re on a bike, down a mad piece of single track or you’re halfway up an HC Col and your buddy drops the hammer, that should be what you aspire to when people talk about “keeping up with others”.
Plus, it’s worth remembering that some of these missions are fucking hard… We can’t all be like the Rodfather shredding at 51 like we’re 15, and this year at Andes Pacifico it became apparent to me that the real top-end missions, the creme de la creme if you like, are a finite proposition. As such – Make muthafucking hay while you’re physically able.
Or in summary – Riding your bike as much as life allows, in new places, with GC’s is where it’s at.
Holy shit, that was all very obvious wasn’t it? I assume so, but if not, then hopefully something here resonated. I already have a nagging feeling I’ve left something out, but I can also see that life is busy demanding that I get off this keyboard and back to other matters. Thank you for reading if you’ve been around for the last 5 years, its been fucking golden to have you all along for the journey thus far.
Indeed, this is a very lazy way to fill up a post with basically a rerun of an Instagram feed over 5 years – However, if it encourages just a single person to book a trip away with their bicycle and have a fucking awesome time while doing so, then it would have been worth the time it took to crawl through the thousands of images that stretched the Hawk server into shapes you wouldn’t even see on Pornhub.
A massive Dirty thank you to everyone who made these experiences and missions incredible, they would have been diminished in colour & quality without you. Prepare for scrollageddon & thumb cramps as we roll endlessly down a mildly narcissistic memory lane from 5 years of Dirtiness: