I’ve never been a fan of the middle ground. Yes, that will make me sound as unreasonable and as uncompromising as I really am, but the ‘in-between’ or being in the soft and spongy middle ground is just something that makes my skin crawl. I suspect that it has something to do with its association with not really having a clear direction or a goal to aim for. Oh, and probably the fact I have some OCD issues to reconcile or that I spent half my life being a corporate robot before my software was finally hacked and rebooted.

Yes, I’ve gotten a lot better in the last few years at chilling out, but not having a target to aim for still annoys me and worst of all, seems to create indecision when it comes to what to do next. So, when presented with a blank canvas with which to drape my Dirtiness on, I can be notorious for going back and forth randomly on plans instead of always following my gut. Its usually during this period as I lament and whine whilst sipping on my champagne problems that Little Miss Dirty tips her head and just calmly sings at me:

“Make good decisions”

Well, whilst I sit around marathon watching the entire series of ‘Suits’ on Netflix, forever cementing my irrational fear of drops and facing another Southern Hemisphere summer being cunted, its given me time to think about the decision path I beat to end up here and reflect on what it all means. Not to mention why the fuck I don’t have a PS4 with Call of Duty right now. #yesiampeterpan.

The main downside I have struck so far with this whole broken neck gig, aside from not being able to ride, is that for some reason it turns you into a fucking Hipster Lumberjack… Yeah, the Doctor’s didn’t give me a heads up on that part. Having said that, the good news is that I have finally found a use for those terrible wide neck hipster T shirts that usually make you look like a total cunt – They fit perfectly over massive neck braces:

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Proof of lumberjack life – From ENDURO shredding to Watching Road racing… Someone get me a Fixie for Chrissy

But the fact that I randomly purchased a puffer vest when I live in the tropics isn’t what’s bugging me the most. No, I have something else on my mind that is taking up space as I mull over the current reality. It probably doesn’t help me that I used to watch a lot of this:

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Watching X files in the 90’s – Probably the same time I rode on Mt Vic

Aside from the continual frustration of another week passing without Mulder smashing Scully’s back wheels in (a role I would have been happy to fulfil in 1997) this series really appealed to my closet conspiracy theory side. Sure, it dragged on and got too weird for my attention span, so I never really worked out what the deal was (no Alien race would cut a deal with us for fucks sake), but it did always make me think if there was indeed actually Truth out there to be found?

And this is the odd feeling I have at the moment… No, not wondering if Aliens caused my crash or if Gillian Anderson would still go off now she’s a full cougar, but more the thoughts around the mysterious powers of fate & destiny, sliding doors, circumstance and decision trees that resulted in my front wheel finding a hole that in reality shouldn’t have even been there. That’s right, break out the artisanal popcorn, I’m getting fucking freaky.

Yes, I’ve had a knock to the head, we know that as AT had to sit terrorised as I power vomited up my yummy hospital dinner last week, but that aside the issue I have is that there were SO many decision points and changes that meant that I could have easily avoided #bracelyfe. Given I have nothing else to do, allow me to walk you through each one in meaningless hindsight:

Spooky decision #1 – I wasn’t even sure I was coming to NZ. Yes, first port of call was the fact that it wasn’t until a week prior to the trip that it was locked in I would be back at Hobbit HQ to get amongst some fresh air and catch up with the hometown crew. God dammit Mulder.

Spooky decision #2 – I wasn’t going to take the Mountain Bike. It was going to be a very short trip… Verging on fly in and fly out, so given I had the Doomsday Road Bike back in NZ, it was a rare chance to travel light. Easy. Locked in… Save a whole shitload of faffing and fights with Air NZ check in staff.

Spooky decision #3 – I decided to stay on. Yes, the original plan was to punch out of NZ on the Wednesday and not stay on to do any extra riding, but that felt a bit like getting up to watch Coronation Street after foreplay, so why not stay on?

Spooky decision #4 – This was a big one. Upon making SD3, I of course decided the Nomad 3 had to come with me. I wouldn’t have been very ENDURO if I had just hit the road bike again like Brisbane, not to mention the fact there are some mega banger trails here to be indulged in. The fate train had now left the station…

Spooky decision #5 – Of course, being back in NZ there was only one place to be for the long weekend: Rotorua. Booked the flights, booked the rental car, booked the accom… Yes, totally locked in with a glorious uplift itinerary that even included the 440 Mountain Bike park on Sunday before punching out to the cHub on Monday. 4 days of mega radness with more Go PRO footage than any of you would actually give a fuck about. But then I did something I have never done before: I looked at the weather and cost. Yes, indulge with me in some self loathing right now. Doing this triggered me to cancel that trip to stay in Wellington to ride from Wednesday to Sunday. Utterly unheard of. Cue the smoking man watching me ominously from a distance as I change all my plans… WTF.

Footnote – Weather was then awesome all week and weekend in Rotorua, after forecasts showed that my curse was working full gas to bring pissing rain.

Ok… Yeah, shit is getting freaky right? But wait… There’s MORE.

Spooky decision #6 – Actually, this is more a buffet of spooky decisions in reality. The morning of the incident in question, there was actually a number of ride options presented for my digestion:

  1. Solo ride up to Te Horo on the road through the aka’s
  2. Rivet group road ride around the Aka’s
  3. Drive north, meet the Rivet boys and then do a weird part Aka’s loop
  4. MTB Ride up the Coast with the Rodfather
  5. Hit Mt Vic with the Rodfather

Number 5 was actually the most challenging logistically, but that didn’t stop me from putting it on my plate like a giant chili crab did it? The prospect of getting a guided tour of the Democratic Republic of Mt Victoria with its President, The Rodfather, was too prestigious to pass up. Never look Radness in the mouth and all that.

Want the final creepy moment? The hole my front wheel so willingly found wasn’t even supposed to exist. Real talk. Check out this below pic, on the left the rFather’s Intense mimics my muppet trajectory, into a deep dark black hole which not even a 29er would have come out of, whilst the pic on the right highlights how this trail feature should have looked had someone not removed the log that is usually there:

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Basically a conspiracy theory… This trail feature even finishes on a grassy knoll

Holy FUCK!! How avoidable was this crash?! How many major chances did I get to do one little thing to avoid sticking my Mavic Charge where it clearly didn’t belong? Not just little cross roads either, a series of massive ones that had to link together to get me to that fateful spot. So then, I’m left twidling my fingers (very grateful that I can twiddle them as well), looking at all these strategic decision points being fucked up and therefore, like Walter Skinner may do, asking the obvious question here:

Was this all meant to happen?

If the answer to that is ‘yes’, then why? To what end? What does it all mean? Did I say ‘Cunt’ too much? Am I too ENDURO? If you look at life like it’s an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, and it has moments where you enter a giant railway yard, what track have I been shunted on to as a result of this fuck up that will see me heading down a different path? And why do I have a habit of all these rhetorical questions instead of just stating a point?

With the Broken Collarbone and Elbow this time a year ago, the change in direction was to go full ENDURO, a path that turned out delivering some amazing experiences and all thanks to the unintended consequences of ripping some handlebar tape. But what does it mean this time? Am I supposed to be doing something I’m not doing? Or stopping doing something I had planned to do? Grand plan or just dumb luck? Meant to be or just a total cunt?

Perhaps my true calling isn’t finishing just outside the top 200 in EWS rounds, instead am I supposed to be fulfilling my destiny of travelling the world and forcing malnourished Roadies to eat cake before their salad lunch arrives?

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The moment of awkward horror when I suggest we eat cake before savoury

I guess that right now, the answer to that question remains to be seen… Perhaps I won’t even know when it does become clear either. Or perhaps I have too much time on my hands and this post has gone off on a massively raving tangent that will have you muttering “Cunt has lost it” while unfollowing me on Instagram, an act which would be worse than kicking me in the balls.

In the mean time, I’m off to find the truth. Or get probed by Aliens/Gillian Anderson.

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