Friday, February 12, 2010

concrete hustle

"it's the journey, not the destination..."

i've always loved the quote above. i don't know who said it first, but it's always been one i've admired. it can be cliche if you let it. it's a philosophy i choose to let be a part of how i live my life.

which brings me to the touchstone you see pictured above. i had a curiosity about brooks saddles when i lived in north carolina. i even tried to acquire two in a trade. one that i ended up returning because i couldn't live up to my end of the bargain. i kept another one that was already broken in by someone else, who's sit's bones were certainly unlike my own and had loosened up the nut in front allowing it to sag, ruining it. i had known riders who had loved them, swearing by them. i had known riders who hated them. hated the weight, the hardness, the lengthy break in, etc.

my journey to oregon was part of a bigger picture. a life change. a lifestyle change. some personal change. i purchased this saddle on my 2nd day in eugene. right after i went on my first run here with LB and bili. i went home, put it on the only bike i had unpacked and assembled, and started commuting on it the very next day. it has since made it's way from the first bike to it's third bike. all the while, it's been part of my day almost every day. i couldn't stand 20 minutes on it when i first moved here. thankfully, my commute was just that, so it worked. it got time from me twice a day. as it broke in, my commutes started being inspired to be extended. then i moved across town and my time in the saddle became longer along with my commute. that was almost 3 and a half years ago. yesterday, the saddle eclipsed 10,000 miles of riding. commutes. rides to the coast and back. long, soul searching explorations. some while healing broken hearts or injured tissue that kept me from the expression of running. that saddle taught me to slow down and experience. take notice. stop and pick a few blueberries. that saddle has not always brought me comfort, but over time softened to me like a feral cat who's trust you eventually win and you learn to love and rely on each other.

i have an appreciation for the experience of this brooks, now. my friend in colorado is undertaking the journey of breaking one in on his daily commutes as we speak. i also have another friend in south carolina who i noticed has used one on his race rigs for the last few years. one beauty in this is that while we have never had a conversation about this, the experience has become our own. no expectation. in the moment, every day. the touchstone.
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Meriwether said...

Very nice. Congrats on the 10K! I'm still in the early phase of my B17's life and I'm sure it's not even partially broken in but I have no regrets on its placement on my mountain townie. Like you say, you have to enjoy and appreciate the journey and take the destination as a great bonus if and when you arrive. So if I never truly know if I've broken in my Brooks, it'll still have been fun to try because it truly rides and has style like no other.
PS - There's a great article by Chipps in the latest Adventure Cyclist called "Inside Brooks" to check out.

Scott said...

hey, brother.

i had serious doubts about this saddle for the first 6 or 7 months. warmer temps made a big difference for me as far as comfort. i bought it and started riding it in october. i'm stoked to hear what you think when you approach your first year of commuting on tank. your rides are a lot longer than my were.

i just copped a membership to adventure cycling. thanks for the lead. can't wait to read the article.