Funsuck [verb] \ˈfən ˈsək\: when the pleasure of the activity is matched by how much it will also be unenjoyable.
Riding bikes is everything to me. My job, my free time, my sleep time, it all revolves around the revolution of wheels. It has always been this way. Being astride a bicycle has been my greatest interest since the time before I was forming memories. My mom tells a story about how she lost me one day…in the house. I was nowhere to be found. When she saw my shoes were not in the entrance way, she opened to door to the garage to see me struggling to buckle my helmet while holding my bike. Tenacity is also a life-long trait I guess.
Just shy of three decades later, not a whole lot has changed (although my helmet buckle is now magnetic so that takes some of the guess work out of the process). All I want to do is go zipping through the woods atop rubber hoops, suspended by air and springs. It’s a simple thrill, which is relatable no matter the skill-level of the rider. There is an intangible sensation derived from the sounds of mechanical functions and the accompanying whooshing of air and dirt as distance is gained with each extension and retraction of the pistons we call legs.
It’s a compulsion, a need; I don’t just like being outside – I have to be outside. I lose my general sensibilities if I’m stuck indoors for too long. For this reason I’m not just a fair-weather rider and I will ride when I want, regardless of the conditions. From scorching heat to snow, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just poor preparation. Driven by my desire to ride whenever possible, I am however often faced with the conundrum of, “will this ride be fun?”
I’d say my going rate is around 70/30. At its core riding bikes is always fun, but the superficial truth is that some days suck, big time. It’s genuinely not fun riding in heat that even silences the birds. It’s miserable riding in the winter when you can’t feel your fingers or toes. But, let’s be honest, there is something masochistic about a shitty ride that can in-turn be talked about as “a great day out”. I like to refer to this phenomenon as “Funsuck”: it’s fun because I’m outside on a bike, but it sucks because [insert excuse here].