A Minor Character

This is a thing I wrote in 2014 for Red Kite Prayer, lightly edited, because I know a little better now. Sometimes I have trouble locating the bike in the story, although it is there in plain view, bright blue with knobby tires, or party balloon red on razor thin rubber strips. The bike is... Continue Reading →

When I’m Tired

When I'm tired, I get quiet. Sometimes I don't even know I'm tired until I realize my eyes are down, fully occupied with reading the line of the trail, and I haven't said a word in more than a handful of minutes. "How are you doing?" a friend asks. That's another clue. The alarm shook... Continue Reading →

A Sliver of Rolling Hope

I ignore my phone a lot, leave it on silent mode, so I didn't see the text until this morning, the one that said we were riding bikes. I sat and pondered. "Do I have time to switch my tires over for the studded pair I bought last winter? Do I really need them?" I... Continue Reading →

The Winter Moths

Here's a thing I wrote a long, long time ago, but still like, for whatever that's worth. At the top of the steepest hill is the water tower. In the pre-dawn, six small lights bob and weave up the hill towards the tower, like a handful of winter moths drawn to a pulsing streetlight. Those... Continue Reading →

The Hardest Part

I’m going to guess that Tom Petty hasn’t suffered much, because the waiting most definitely is not the hardest part. Sure, the waiting sucks. The waiting can be hard. You show up at the coffee shop’s parking lot at 5am. It’s dark still, cold. Your buddy is running late. You’re just starting to feel the caffeine quickening... Continue Reading →

Falling Off

My friend Padraig fell off his bike and broke a rib. OUCH! It was one of those classic mountain bike crashes where he was forced to pull up short on a steep incline, crowding the rider in front of him, who hadn't made the crest. He reared back, bucking bronco-style, then unclipped and put his... Continue Reading →

The Sympathy Bail and the Flying Beta

New England mountain biking is low flow. Even where someone has "designed" a trail, you don't find lengths of fast, flowy dirt. The Earth literally heaves stones up from beneath the surface here, and any carefully curated trail eventually becomes littered with babyheads and hatchet stones. You can rest assured that any place you see... Continue Reading →

The Corrections

When writing a first draft, I use commas the way some people mumble ‘uh’ when speaking. I type a comma every time I come to the end of a thought. This may or may not signal the beginning/end of a dependent clause as Strunk and White prescribe, but rather the skittering way I work through ideas with... Continue Reading →

A New Alchemy of Speed

This post appeared originally, in slightly different form, at Red Kite Prayer. Let’s start with an audacious premise, that just by virtue of the fact that you are reading these words, you are fast. I know. I know. “Bullshit,” you think to yourself. But maybe it’s true. These things can be self-fulfilling, the placebo that... Continue Reading →

Searching for the Exit

In the very best moments on the trail, no matter whether you're running or riding, thought and action merge into one stream of something like a bliss meditation. Everything gets easy. Everything becomes clear. This is the flow state, a place you might exceed yourself on multiple levels without realizing it, without trying, where time... Continue Reading →

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