If I’m really honest with you, I’ll admit I have an obsessive personality. No, really. My sister bought me a U2 cassette tape back in the early ’90s. A few months later, she BEGGED me to get over it and listen to something else.
When I played high school football, I started sketching out little cartoon football scenes. I’d talk football the entire 40-minute bus ride to the school. I’d tell football stories at the dinner table. Obsessed.
When I got into cycling, it was a similar story. I bought a pair of clipless pedals, mounted them on my mountain bike, went for a ride … in the snow (since it was February in Idaho). I still remember two girls walking past me in their winter coats as I sat on the sidewalk adjusting my SPD cleats with my multi-tool. (I had to get the fit just right, after all.)
I started doing 90-minute rides three or four times a week. I’d go out into the countryside on roads between the potato fields, and the wind would blow me all over the place. Then, that summer, I bought a road bike and went to my first two races (the second of which was the Teton Pass Hill Climb—which I became completely OBSESSED with).
There was just one snag: Two months after I bought my road bike, I met my wife. And not long after that, I became obsessed with her instead. Of course, I wanted to keep up the road bike habit, but not so much that it overtook my time with her. I rode less and less that year. Then, I went to Teton Pass, rode four seconds faster than the year before … and puked at the top.
I’m still obsessed with cycling. Thinking about Teton Pass even makes me a little nostalgic. But I’ve realized my obsession isn’t so much with the bike or with Teton Pass. The bikes—road and mountain—are really just handy ways of getting me to my real obsession:
I’m completely obsessed with mountains. No, really, I am. I’ve been checking this website perhaps 50 times a day lately. Oh, and I went for a quick hike up the mountain in the center foreground one day just because I had nothing better to do. Solo. Despite bear warnings at the trailhead.
Yep, I’m crazy about mountains. And since my sister’s on a completely different continent, I’m going to need somebody to tell me to SNAP OUT OF IT!