I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s important. Satisfaction, security, purpose, that sort of stuff.
I just started coaching pro downhiller Lisa Myklak. We’ve known each other about three years, and she’s one of my favorite people to ride with. She’s a great rider, and — more importantly — she has a lot of passion and fun. In the 2006 NMBS, Lisa finished third overall and the top American. Pretty cool!
This year she wants to rock the World Cups, and she asked for my help. 1) That’s a real compliment. 2) I’m excited to turn the knobs and make her even faster.
Today we did our second session. It was all about cornering. Not pinning it, but learning the basics that really make you rail. Lisa picked it all up quickly, and we both noticed immediate improvement.
In light of my divorce, I’ve been looking at various job opportunities. Work full time for a magazine, work full time for a bike company, work full time for a marketing agency, or keep doing what I’m doing — work for various clients, do leelikesbikes, publish ebooks, make a DVD and basically help people get more out of their riding.
Lisa and I were doing figure eights in a cul-de-sac, focusing on one of many micro-skills. I railed a hard, clean line that felt amazing. Lisa watched and emulated. She entered the turn, found her reference point, sunk into her outside pedal and — CLICK! Her bike carved a perfect arc. Her tires buzzed, and her hands just barely guided the bars. In that moment, one of the country’s best racers improved by a leap. Stoked!
When I got home, I received an email from KB, a 45-year-old who wants to buy a used mountain bike and get into shape. Responding to him brought a flutter to my heart and a tear to my eye. I remembered — no, I felt — how almost 20 years ago bikes changed my life, and how they gave me a new purpose.