Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thank You, Next

As you may have noticed, I really like writing song parodies. It's just something that comes naturally to me, and I've done it since I was a little kid. At that time, the subject matter was usually my show chickens (yes, show chickens). My brain basically just wants to align one thing with a seemingly unrelated thing and figure out what lessons can come from it. Too bad it took until my 30's to realize that song parodies and business analysis are basically the same skillset.

For months I've been wanting to write a parody of Taylor's Swift's "Fifteen" called "Cat 3" as a retrospective on how my cycling career has involved over the last 13 years. That's right, my bike racing history has become an angsty teenage in and of itself. 

The problem is that I just can't make the song work, because there aren't enough verses to cover my evolution. It's starts off well enough at my first XC race as what is now Cat 3 in mountain biking, although it was just called "Beginner" back then. When I try to skip forward getting to my Cat 3 upgrade in cyclocross, it gets off topic fast. 

You like some pics from a red-head named @lwkwafi
And soon enough you're Instafriends
Laughing at the shiny dudes
Who they think they're so cool
And you're happy that he goes to the gym

I guess it realistically reflects what was important to me as a new Cat 3 cyclocross racer and maybe why I never made it to Cat 2.

Then I heard Ariana Grande's "Thank You, Next", and it seemed very on point with my recent circumstances. My bike stable has been through a lot turnover in the last couple of years as I've tried to figure out this whole enduro life. In 2016, I was lucky enough to get a promotion at my job that gave me a level of financial stability that I'd never had before right at the same time that I began to expand my repertoire of mountain bike challenges beyond simple trail riding and XC racing. To complicate matters more, I think that the evolution of mountain bikes has sped up a lot in the last few years, making it harder to settle down. In the past few months, I've had a short-lived relationship with a downhill bike, sold off two extremely nice bikes that I loved but simply didn't ride enough anymore, and completed the build of a Juliana Strega with 180mm fork because I finally justified having a "park bike" to myself. 

So what better way to look back on my cycling career than through the bikes that have taught me important life lessons along the way? 

Thought I'd send it on Rhaegal
But he wasn't a match

And it makes me a bit sad

Then I went full enduro
And for Brienne, I'm so thankful

Wish I coulda kept Jaime
'Cause she was an angel

One taught me love
One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Now, I'm so amazing
I've loved and I've lost
But that's not what I see
So, look what I got
Look what you taught me
And for that, I say

Thank you, next 
Thank you, next 
Thank you, next
I'm so forkin’ grateful for my ex (bikes)

I've still got some good friends
I ain't worried 'bout nothin'

Plus, I've got someone else
To get better at jumpin'

I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon' last

'Cause her name is Maggy
And I'm so good with that 

She taught me love

He taught me patience

How she handles pain 
That shit's amazing 

I've loved and I've lost 
But that's not what I see
'Cause look what I've found 
Ain't no need for searching, and for that, I say

Thank you, next
Thank you, next 
Thank you, next 
I'm so forkin’ grateful for my ex (bikes)

One day I'll hit the some big drop
Without so much trauma

My 90 mil Anthem
Couldn't imagine that drama

Wanna send it big real bad
Gon' make that shit last
God forbid something happens
Least it's not road rash 

I've got so much love 
Got so much patience
I've learned from the pain 
I turned out amazing 
I've loved and I've lost 
But that's not what I see 
'Cause look what I've found
Ain't no need for searching
And for that, I'll say

Thank you, next 
Thank you, next 
Thank you, next
I'm so forkin’ grateful for my ex (bikes)

I was able to find pictures of all but two very early road bikes and my first 'cross bike before he was transitioned to a commuter. It funny how much better the photo quality gets over time.

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