I have a habit of pushing things to the absolute limit. Whether they be physical, emotional, or some combination of the two, I will take things to the most extreme limit possible. Sometimes things bend, other times things break. The bendy ones are the best. I’m not sure if this habit is a healthy one, sometimes I wonder if I’d be better off being more ‘normal’, whatever that means, and then quickly dismiss that as silly, because I know as well as the next person that I would become a miserable mess of a human being if I ever tried to rein myself in.
All in. All the time. Regardless of how scary it is. And right now I’m scared, for in 73 days, I’m going to find myself on a start line in Knik, AK with 350 miles of snow ahead of me and a bike between my legs. Sounds completely rational, eh? And for the first time, I am honest to goodness, terrified of a bike event. Sure, I was worried about lightning on the CTR. Grizzlies and rednecks caused me some consternation on Tour Divide. But this is the first time I’ve legitimately scared.to.death.
But at the same time, I’m fascinated. I’m fascinated by the ‘Final Frontier’. I look at pictures of the AK Range in complete awe. While I’ve accepted the fact that I most likely will never make a home in the bi-polar state of perma-sunshine or perma-darkness (that darkness thing is hard for those of us who are solar powered), it calls to me, even if just for a visit. Even if just for 350 miles across frozen rivers and mountains. And then for a pizza and beer at the Moose Tooth in Anchorage.
It seems to be an event that gets into peoples’ blood. It has an amazingly high rate of repeat offenders. This intrigues me. Why wouldn’t once be enough? What calls people back? I want to experience this. I want to see the northern lights, I want to feel what it feels like to ride in -40, I want to find out what ‘it’ is about the event. I know what it is about CTR. I deeply know what it is about TD. And now the ITI.
I’m scared. I’m fascinated. It’s time to go all in.