Monday, January 11, 2010

A lone man shouting in the wilderness

At the risk of offending some of you (since when has that ever stopped me), I’m going to come right out and say it: I don’t care if you read my blog. Sure, when I started this thing, I looked at the site traffic every day. I was really worried that I’d be the Internet equivalent of a lone man shouting in the wilderness, prophesying to a congregation of nobody.

But once I got to maybe ten readers a day (yeah, my expectations were that low), I realized that wasn’t the case. Once I got to 50 readers a day, I felt somewhat more secure. When I got to 100 readers a day, I stopped caring about traffic altogether.

While I don’t see any point in publishing a blog that nobody reads, I don’t write this blog for anyone but me. I like to write. It’s cathartic. It reduces my stress levels. And it provides a convenient record of some of the stuff I do on bikes and skis as well as the random ideas in my head.

Which is not to say that if you read my blog, you know me. You know SkiBikeJunkie, but he likes to exaggerate. Sometimes just for the sick humor of it. He also makes cynical inside jokes that probably nobody else will ever get.

If you’re a lurker and decided that my off-topic (as if there were a “topic”) posts are boring/annoying/otherwise killing you, and you decided to quit reading tomorrow, I wouldn’t be bothered in the slightest. If you decided that my spraying about an off-the-podium finish in a Cat. 4 race was grating on your nerves and that you didn’t want to read the ramblings of such a blow-hard, I wouldn’t care. Because your attitude about my blog has no bearing on how I feel about anyone, myself included, in real life or otherwise.

As indifferent as I am, however, to the attitudes of readers, from time to time I have the good fortune of interacting with people from the blog world in the real life world. One of these is my friend, Pat.

Pat and I met at Hell of the North last year. In case you don’t know, Hell of the North was the worst, most miserable race I have ever done. It was cold and snowing, and instead of skiing in the most epic conditions of the season, I was inducing hypothermia racing my bike in the wet and mud.

One of the participants, however, seemed impervious to the cold. As the pack regrouped after every corner, he was smiling, asking how I was feeling, apparently happy to be suffering as the mud lacerated his eyeballs every time he blinked. It was Pat.

I thought there was no way a guy this happy-go-lucky was going to last. I was buried and couldn’t muster the energy to smile. He was wasting too much effort being social. When I lost track of him on the last lap, I figured he was off the back. I was wrong. He was up front, setting up to take the win.

Pat and I got reacquainted at RMR where we had fun, even when our tactics were bad. I was saddened not to race with him when he crashed and broke his collarbone at another race. This summer he spent a bunch of time doing power and VO2 max testing for Steve and me, gratis. Sure, we were lab rats for his research project, which will benefit him, but we were both more than happy to get the data at no charge.

Once you spend ten hours in a lab with someone, you’ll probably either like him or you won’t. In Pat’s case, I came away liking the guy more than I already did going in.

So even though I claim that blogging is a selfish endeavor of catharsis, keeping records for my benefit, and spewing random nonsense, it’s somehow also led to some real-world friendships that I genuinely enjoy. And for that, I am quite thankful.


  1. one of the lurkers here.

    I was directed to your blog, as I'm sure many were, by Eldon. And I've got to say that I've enjoyed the hell out of your and his blogs. And despite the fact that we're likely from very different walks of life, based on your writing and interests, if I lived in Utah, I would like to be your friend :D

    In fact, the way you guys talk about the place, I really want to move there.

  2. Thanks for sharing Mark. I'm not a witty contributor, but I like reading. Esp like the pics. I miss the snow and mountains.