As a kid I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, I was, and still am to some extent, a nerd. But it taught me a few things about how to view and act to the world I existed in as a mythical character. It allowed me to play out a choice of alignment – lawful, neutral, or chaotic. I’m not going to talk about the later edition BS that was Chaotic/Good – what you want to burn down the house full of people then help clean up? I digress yet again.
What I’m trying to get at is that those formative years taught me to play out a path that I had chosen for my character without deviating from it. In other words, it taught me to make a choice and stick with it. All in the name of loot and playing a fair and honest game.
This idea of staying to my alignment followed through into my cycling life, where I found myself aligned to the Temple of Dirt after a few years wallowing in the Church of Wood and the Poor Sorry Cult of Tarmac. I finally aligned with all things dirty, and I’ve never looked back.
But now, as I progress through the years, I’ve found my own alignments have become more and more blurred. What was once a simple choice – you race on dirt/you train on dirt – no longer holds fast when one’s dirt races contain large portions of tarmac. A choice the Wooden Track Brethren probably have less need to worry about – even though it would be cool to have a dirt ‘cross velodrome.
In some ways I feel maybe I’ve strayed from the true trail. But in other ways I think, maybe I’ve become more open to just being a cyclist. Happier to allow others to see me as so, rather than just a single-minded dirt eating machine. Maybe it’s that, or maybe I’m just getting soft.
Beer of the Week
Trooper – Robinsons Brewery (for Iron Maiden) ABV 6.6%
“Trooper is a premium British beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery. Being a real ale enthusiast, vocalist Bruce Dickinson has developed a beer which has true depth of character. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon.”
One of those beers that I was drawn to a few years ago through a combination of love of the music of Iron Maiden and a sucker for a picture of Eddie. Named for a song about the Crimean War – thankfully it tastes nothing like battle, but after a few pints you’ll feel pretty rough the next day. If you can find it on tap, even better.